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Larmandier-Bernier Vintage de Levant Grand Cru 2006
- Great Domaines
- Vinous Media
all ratings out of 100 points.
"Pale yellow. Smoky pear and peach pit on the nose, with subtle jasmine, iodine and honey qualities adding complexity. Smooth and fleshy on the palate, but with a penetrating quality and intense minerality to the orchard fruit and citrus pith flavors. Firm, focused and pure on the impressively long finish, which shows very good clarity and stony cut. Offers a superb blend of richness and vivacity." - Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate
Immediately - 2018
Neutral barrique and cask for unspecified period
Vineyards & vinification:
Biodynamically cultivated from 40-70 year old vines.
Great champagne starts in the vineyard. Without high-quality fruit, no amount of skill will be able to save you. Pierre Larmandier, and his wife Sophie, are a lucky couple, inheriting 12 hectares of some of the Côte des Blancs finest vines, near the village of Vertus. His winemaking is not based on formal study - he has a business degree - and this may very well be his secret. Many believe this lack of formal training results in a wine that is made by “feeling” rather than relying on passed down techniques. A strong philosophy of leaving your grapes well alone is another aspect of the domaine’s consistent quality.
In Larmandier’s own words, “It is not for reasons of tradition that our approach is natural. It is just because it makes sense. The creation of any great wine begins in the grapes that contain the qualities and the authenticity that the winemaker seeks.”
Larmandier-Bernier believes that high-quality fruit is simple to achieve, albeit demanding. This comes from a respect for the soil, vines that are healthy, limiting your yields and picking mature grapes by hand. Biodynamic cultivation drives the 80 year old vines’ roots deep into the soil to provide essential nutrients and thus propelling the terroir into the fruit.
Non-vintage bottles spend time in smaller French barriques of varying ages, providing a structural integrity and finesse. Vintaged bottles are kept out of oak, maturing in stainless steel. Out of the annual production of 130 000 bottles the top cuvées are all pure Chardonnay. All fermentation is spontaneous with natural yeast, and disgorging is purely manual.
Truly a magnificent, hand-crafted champagne.