2013 Rosé de Maturation Champagne Larmandier-Bernier
A new cuvée for Larmandier-Bernier makes its debut with the 2013 Extra-Brut Rosé de Maturation. Like the house's Rosé de Saignée, long one of my favorite rosé Champagnes, this derives from old-vine Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris in Vertus, and it's also produced by the saignée method, seeing three days' maceration; but unlike that wine, which is raised in tank and concrete eggs, this cuvée sees 40% maturation in wood with the balance in concrete eggs, and it sees longer sur lattes aging, too—fully six years before this first release was disgorged, with three grams dosage. The boisterous expression of fruit and flowers that defines the Rosé de Saignée is here transformed into something more subtle but just as lively, mingling nuances of red berries, dried orange peel, potpourri and ginger. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, with a delicate mousse and mouthwateringly sapid qualities that suggest thrilling gastronomic potential. This is a lovely addition to the portfolio, and I look forward to getting to know it better over the coming years. Drinking range: 2020 - 2030 Rating: 94 William Kelley, The Wine Advocate (Sep 2020)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
Pierre and Sophie Larmandier are determined to make wines as true as possible to their origins in their different vineyards. These are split into around fifty separate parcels spread across the Côte des Blancs in the grand cru villages of Cramant, Chouilly, Oger and Avize, and the premier cru of Vertus.
All but three of the parcels (representing 0.5 hectares) are farmed using non-officially certified biodynamic methods. Wines are made only from their own 15 hectares of vines, which are on average 33 years old. All of their Champagnes are the purest expressions of Chardonnay.
Working only with natural yeasts the influence of 'terroir' is all important to the style of his wines, so much so that he uses a minimum 'dosage' (if at all) so as not to mask the wines natural characteristics.
Pierre has recently changed the 'Tradition' cuvée, re-launching it as 'Latitude', and it is now also a Blanc de Blancs, with its origins in the vineyards south of Vertus. The old 'Blanc de Blancs cuvée, which is known henceforth as 'Longitude', comes exclusively from vineyards on the Cote de Blancs itself and is classified Premier Cru'.
The Pinot Noir is now reserved exclusively for Pierre's distinctive dark rosé and for the Vertus Rouge Coteaux Champenois.
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