Region: Champagne, France
Ageing Potential: 5-10 years
Perfect with: Rock Oysters
Why You’ll Love It?
Whilst 90% of the vineyards are owned by growers, only 20% of these growers sell their own Champagnes and the rest sell their grapes to the Grandes Marques. Larmandier-Bernier is part of that 20% of grower producers and probably one of the exceptional grower producers out there.
The estate is run by second generation Pierre and his wife Sophie. They own just under 15ha of grand cru plots in Cote de Blancs and a premier cru plot Vertus. Since their reign they’ve transformed the vineyards to using organic and biodynamic farming methods. Biodynamics is where you allow the cycle of the moon to dictate what you do in the vineyards and in the cellar. This is an extremely rare practice in champagne, due to its harsh weather conditions and how much producers will pay for grapes. Most people are looking for maximum yield.
The Larmandiers entire philosophy is around maximising expression of terroir. For that reason they put a lot of effort in the vineyard to ensure the best fruit is produced each year so there’s very little extra manipulation required in the cellar.
The 2008 Larmandier-Bernier vielle vigne du Levant is produced from 100% chardonnay grapes sourced from two old vine vineyards in Cramant, the vines are on average 50 to 70 years old. The 2008 vintage in Champagne is possibly the greatest of the past decade. It’s defined by sleek energy and balance, drawing comparisons to 1988. While 2002 and 1996 are defined by their power and ripeness, the 2008 vintage delivers energy, purity and balance. Aged in old oak barrels with over 5 years on lees and 2g/L dosage.