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Larmandier-Bernier Extra Brut “Vieille Vigne du Levant” Grand Cru 2006 Magnum
- Great Domaines
- Wine Advocate
all ratings out of 100 points.
"Larmandier Bernier’s 2006 Extra Brut Grand Cru Cramant Vieilles Vignes emerges from a parcel of 48-70 year-old vines in Cramant. It is the only wine here vinified and aged exclusively in oak. 60% neutral barrels and 40% neutral foudres. Dried pears, hazelnuts, spices and dried flowers are given an additional measure of weight and volume by the old vines and aging in oak. The 2006 is a serious, weighty Champagne best suited to the dinner table, where its power and pure structure will be appreciated most. Dosage was just 2 grams per liter, but this fruit is so rich, it needs very little else." - 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.