Larmandier Bernier Latitude Blanc de Blancs NV is 100% Côte des Blancs Chardonnay. The fruit for Larmandier Bernier Latitude Blanc de Blancs NV is predominantly grown, as it always has been, in vineyards on the southern side of Vertus. These are vineyards on roughly the same latitude. Fermentation takes place in a mixture of casks, wooden vats and stainless-steel tanks. Larmandier Bernier Latitude is left on their natural lees for nearly a year and is not fined or filtered. The second fermentation and the maturation ‘sur lattes’ take place over a period of more than 2 years. Each bottle is disgorged manually 6 months before being released. The dosage is a very low 4 grams per litre.
As to be expected with Blanc de Blancs Champagne Larmandier Bernier Latitude is elegant, clean and precise. Due to their work in the vineyard, the Chardonnay flavours come through, and there is some lovely texture and generosity in the mouth.
Larmandier Bernier Latitude Blanc de Blancs NV, and all wines are eligible for at least 5% off any six bottles. And 10% off any 12 bottles. Some wines will be at a more significant discount and not subject to further discounts.
Larmandier Bernier is probably the best and most consistent of the Growers that is readily available in Australia. The estate is 15 hectares, predominantly in Vertus, at the southern tip of the Côte des Blancs. Complementing this, Larmandier Bernier also has holdings in Cramant, Chouilly, Oger and Avize. The vineyards at Larmandier Bernier are biodynamically worked, and the average age of the vines is 35 years.
Larmandier Bernier Latitude Blanc de Blancs NV Wine Review
“The NV Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Latitude 1er Cru is a fabulous introduction to the Larmandier-Bernier wines. It offers a compelling mix of Chardonnay brightness with the breadth and natural resonance that comes so easy from the clay-rich soils that are common in the southern edge of Vertus. Dried lemon peel, chamomile, mint, sage and almond nuances flesh out in this beautifully resonant, expansive Blanc de Blancs. This release is based on 2017, with 40% wines from a perpetual reserve that dates back to 2004.”
A wine region of France approximately 160km East of Paris. It is also the name of the wines produced from the area. Most famously, it is a sparkling wine that undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle and aging on lees (the dead yeast cells). Although there is the occasional still wine, you can find around, particularly Pinot Noir. The fantastically named Bouzy Rouge is one such example. There are very few single vintage, single vineyard, single variety Champagnes. I can only name one – Salon. And it was produced only 47 times between 1900 and 1999. Why? Due to the large area the region covers and the challenging weather, the houses blended wines to produce a consistent and reliable product every year. This is where the growers come in. They relish the chance to show off vintage variation and small plot wines.
The grape that you can plant anywhere, in any climate and do anything to, and it will still taste like an OK wine. When people hit the sweet spot of site, climate, cropping and winemaking, Chardonnay becomes a magical wine that will age gracefully but charm you at any age. Chardonnays can range from cool-climate lean and citrusy to warmer climate tropical and overt. Oak and lees can add flavouring, as can malolactic fermentation. In a Champagne context, Chard can add mineral flavours, stone fruits and acidity along with some weight of fruit.
The land that so many New World (not European) wine producers look to emulate. To generalise about French wine, I would say it is savoury, lighter-bodied wines. They are the definition of elegant, complex. There are many styles, though. And there is a French wine for every palate. They lead the world in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Burgundy. Sparkling Wine in Champagne. Cabernet and Merlot in Bordeaux. Syrah(Shiraz) and Grenache in the Rhone Valley. Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris in Alsace. Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley. Gamay in Beaujolais.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is special. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
Fizz, bubby, bubbles. It is a wine with bubbles in it. There are many ways to put the bubbles in and many styles and flavours you can find. Important to know that you should never buy cheap Sparkling. Champagne is still the quality leader of the world. But great Sparkling can be found in Moscato (sweet), Prosecco, Franciacorta (Italy), Cava (Spain), Australia, New Zealand, Loire Valley and Burgundy Cremant (France).
The Wine Depository
I, Phil, have been running The Wine Depository since 2011. The Wine Depository exists to make sure you are drinking the good wines. You can browse and pick what is interesting to you. Or you can make contact with me. I’ll make sure you get what you want, to your palate, to your budget and to your door.