'Latitude' Extra Brut 1er Cru
Very dry blend of 100% Chardonnay from Vertus (this is in fact an extra-brut), elegant and pure flavours, making for an interesting contrast to the Egly-Ouriet style. Breathtaking wine at this price. L&S (Mar 2017)
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Larmandier-Bernier Latitude Extra Brut NV (£34.95, Lea & Sandeman) is a luminous laser-guided passage from 2016 into, let’s hope, a better new year. David Williams, The Observer (Dec 2016)
This is one of my favourite grower Champagnes; it always delivers in terms of price versus quality. This 100% Chardonnay is incredibly elegant and polished with notes of citrus and white flower. The palate opens up to a rich texture balanced by notes of tangerine and citrus. With only 4grams per litre of sugar it is dry, showing purity with an amazing depth and persistance. Christelle Guibert, Decanter (Dec 2016)
The NV Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Latitude 1er Cru is a big, vinous wine. Bold, ample and large on the palate, the Latitude exudes power. Dried apricot, roasted nuts and spices are pushed forward in a rich, creamy wine that reflects the personality of these clay-rich soils on the southern edge of Vertus. With time in the glass, the Latitude gains freshness, volume and intensity. Rating: 92 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Dec 2016)
Blanc de Blancs. Good and energetic and has - just - enough fruit. Clean and crisp. Drinking range: 2015 - 2017 Rating: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com (Sep 2016)
Larmandier-Bernier's NV Blanc de Blancs Latitude is a bit compact and tightly wound, especially next to the Longitude. Traditionally, these clay-rich soils have been planted to Pinot Noir rather than Chardonnay. That sense of phenolic intensity is very much in evidence here. The Latitude is an excellent choice for readers who enjoy dense, powerful Champagnes. Drinking range: 2014 - 2021 Rating: 91-91 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Nov 2014)
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.
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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