Larmandier-Bernier Vieille Vigne Du Levant Grand Cru Champagne 2010
Critic Score: 96 Points
Critic: Wine Advocate
Drink From: 2020
Drink To: 2035
(Disg. Jun 2019)
Disgorged in June 2019 after some eight years on lees. This Blanc de Blancs was historically labelled as Vieille Vigne de Cramant. Nothing else has changed save for the name, which is now inspired by the vineyard where the majority of grapes are sourced, Bourron du Levant. The vines here were planted in 1960 and the balance comes from a 0.5-hectare holding in the neighbouring terroir of Le Fond du Bâteau (75-year-old vines). Both plots are located in the heart of Cramant's southeast-facing slope, on the flanks of the Butte de Saran. Basking in the first rays of the morning sun, these vineyards give wonderfully ripe and layered wines. The deep root system of the old vines combine with the terroir to bring a wine of glowing density and opulence. It offers a fascinating, concentrated and stone-fruited contrast to the other Larmandier cuvées (not to mention other producers' wines from Cramant's west-facing hill). Quoted in Peter Liem's ChampagneGuide.net, Pierre Larmandier notes, "[it's] the same minerality, but Cramant has more power and more body. In Vertus, the minerality is a little more naked." The winemaking across each of Larmandier's single terroir wines is similar--natural fermentation and malo, 12 months in large Stockinger barrels and no fining or filtration. This cuvée, however, spends at least five years in bottle on lees (seven-plus years for the 2010), and this release was disgorged with only two grams dosage.Disgorged in June 2018, the 2010 Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Vieille Vigne du Levant offers up a bright and detailed bouquet of citrus oil, flowers, white peach, warm bread and a delicate top note of walnut oil that's less pronounced than its delicately oxidative 2009 counterpart. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, broad and satiny, with considerable concentration and old-vine extract, concluding with a long and saline finish. William Kelley - Wine Advocate
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