2013 Terre de Vertus Non Dosé 1er Cru
100% Chardonnay from Premier Crus vineyards planted in 1982 and 1962, given absolutely no 'dosage', making it an ultra brut, and in Pierre Larmandier's words a true expression of the Vertus 'terroir'. Elegant, restrained, with toasty, citrus flavours and underlying minerality this really is a sensational wine. L&S (Nov 2019)
*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.
Disgorged in 2018 with minimal dosage, the 2013 Brut Nature Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru Terre de Vertus unfurls with notes of lemon oil, oyster shell, pastry cream and crisp green apple that gains in definition and purity with time in the glass. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, with a pinpoint mousse, lovely venosity, fine depth at the core and a mouthwateringly saline, chalky and decidedly dry finish. As usual, this is a classy and distinctive bottling from Larmandier-Bernier. Drinking range: 2018 - 2028 Rating: 94 William Kelley, The Wine Advocate(Apr 2019)
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.
With every man and his wife on the lookout for Champagne 'deals', it is sad that so many people overlook the best 'deals' of all - high quality, grower-made Champagnes, packed with character, and at prices significantly below any of the best prices you might find for Grande Marque Champagnes.
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