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Larmandier-Bernier: A Postcard from Vertus & a new Blanc de Noirs!

Larmandier-Bernier: A Postcard from Vertus & a new Blanc de Noirs!

“Few growers’ ranges in Champagne are as consistently outstanding as that of Larmandier-Bernier,” Andrew Jefford, The New France

“In a region where vineyard work is not always given the priority it deserves, Larmandier-Bernier is a model of what can be achieved through conscientious and diligent care in the vines.” Peter Liem, Champagneguide.net

“Pierre and Sophie Larmandier craft dramatic, vinous wines of real personality and class. Sustainable farming practices, indigenous fermentations and aging in cask are some of the cornerstones of an approach that yields distinctly potent, textured wines full of character.” Antonio Galloni, Vinous

So many of our domaine’s are experiencing generational change. In Champagne alone, Ambroise Agrapart is working alongside his father, Pascal, Héloïse Gautherot is learning the ropes at Vouette et Sorbée, and at Egly-Ouriet, Charles and Clémence have joined their parents, Francis and Annick Egly. Then, at Selosse, Guillaume Selosse is slowly taking over the reins from Anselme. In each case, it is already apparent that the younger generation are having a galvanizing effect, bringing fresh perspectives and lightning bolts of energy.

Nowhere is this more obvious than at Larmandier Bernier. Pierre and Sophie Larmandier now have two (of their three) sons at the estate. Arthur joined in 2018, followed by his younger brother, Georges, in late 2021. It is no coincidence that the arrival of the boys has coincided with an exciting growth spurt for the domaine. To begin with, the Larmandiers now have two new vineyards in play, Terre de Noël in Oger and Le Haut Nemery in Avize. This purchase was swiftly followed by excavating and constructing a new maturation cellar underneath the existing winery. For some time, Pierre and Sophie had indicated their wish to age their Champagnes for even longer before release, and the new underground cellar now grants them this opportunity.

As you might imagine, the increase in space and ‘staffing’ has enabled even more development, more trials and greater attention to detail. Noting just a few observations from our visit this year: the reserve wines will now be held in Stockinger 5,000 litre wooden casks; more concrete and amphora are being used in the cellar; and Larmandier is even trialling spraying biodynamic preparations by drone! We imagine this is the influence of Georges Larmandier, who joined the domaine following four years working as an aeronautical engineer. In short, this producer keeps progressing and reaching ever-greater heights—l’union fait la force.

We should probably introduce the new releases. There are new disgorgements for the 2015 Terre de Vertus and Grand Cru Vieille Vigne du Levant, alongside our last ten boxes of the stunning 2014 Grand Cru Chemins d’Avize. Both new disgorgements are showing more flex and complexity than our last shipments. Then—and talk about burying the headline—we’re delighted to offer the domaine’s first ever Blanc de Noirs. Larmandier-Bernier Blanc de Noirs —now that’s got a good ring to it. 2015 was such an exceptional year for this grower’s old-vine Pinot Noir in Vertus that they decided to commemorate the vintage with a Blanc de Noirs. It won’t join the core range for now, but given the success of the first release, it will be made in the sweet spot years for the domaine’s Pinot Noir vines. The subsequent release will be from the 2019 vintage. Like everything under cork from this exacting grower, the quality is outstanding.

 

For more information and all available wines from Champagne Larmandier-Bernier, please visit here.

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