Like Egly-Ouriet, Larmandier-Bernier has been rated as one of Champagne’s top five producers by Andrew Jefford in his celebrated work, The New France, [Mitchell Beazley]. This estate is meticulously run by Pierre Larmandier and his wife Sophie. Pierre’s family has owned vineyards in the Côte des Blancs since the Revolution. The estate is now 15 hectares, predominantly in Vertus, at the southern tip of the Côte des Blancs, yet there are also holdings in Cramant, Chouilly, Oger and Avize. The vineyards are biodynamically worked and the average age of the vines is 35 years; most Champagne vineyards are considered ‘old’ and due for replanting at 20 years. Yields are kept very low by Champagne standards, 50 hl/ha on average.
Below are the notes from Larmandier Bernier
“Our old vines in Cramant face south-east and are blessed with an exceptional terroir. They are aged between 48 and over 75 years old. Their deep root system and the diversity of the old stocks contribute to the complexity of the wine.
The natural alcoholic fermentation (natural yeast) and the malolactic fermentation begin spontaneously in our casks and our wooden vats. The wines are left on their natural lees for nearly a year and undergo gentle bâtonnages, but no filtering or fining. If the year merits it, this cuvée will be bottled in July as a vintage.
No need to blend, this is a single vineyard.
Then the bottles are then taken down into the coolness of our cellars, where the second fermentation and the maturation ‘on laths’ quietly take place over a period of a minimum of 5 years. Each bottle is disgorged manually 6 months before being marketed.”
“The 2007 Cramant Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru is a great choice for drinking over the next few years, as the flavors are nicely mellowed and complex. Broad and ample on the palate, the 2007 possesses lovely depth in its fruit, along with considerable intensity from these 50-70 year-old vines. Wild flowers, almonds and dried pears add the final nuances of complexity. Dosage is 2 grams per liter.” 92, Antonio Galloni, vinousmedia.com, Nov 14