Champagne Guy Larmandier

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The cellars of Champagne Guy Larmandier are located in the village of Vertus at the southern base of the Cote des Blancs. This estate owns 9 hectares of vineyards, all located within the Cote des Blancs and distributed amongst the Grand Cru rated villages of Chouilly and Cramant and the 1er Cru rated vineyards of Vertus and Cuis. We have worked with Guy Larmandier and his wife and children since 1982.

Guy Larmandier established this domaine which, following his death, is now supervised by his wife, Colette, and their two children, Francois and Marie-Helene. Annual production is on the order of 90,000 bottles. Harvest is conducted manually, the Champagnes are aged a minimum of 36 months on the lees and the Champagnes destined for the US market are disgorged on order and receive a minimal dosage so as to emphasize the purity and finesse of this special terroir. The principal cuvées are:

Vertus Brut Cote des Blancs 1er Cru: A blend of 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir from Larmandier’s premier cru-designated home village of Vertus, this “classic” six-grams-per-liter disgorgement is a blend of two-thirds 2013 vintage and one-third 2012. Whereas this possesses slightly less of the driving limestone cut of the Cramant, it shows more roundness of texture—in keeping with the terroir of Vertus. Subtle notes of fig and green apple frame the satisfyingly broad and long palate, and the overall personality of the wine is generous and forward.
Vertus “Brut Zero” 1er Cru: Sporting a more markedly floral, chalky nose than the classic disgorgement, this new “Brut Zero” version of the Vertus 1er Cru has a similarly chiseled frame to the Cramant above. However, it is less obviously bone-dry on the palate—the ample character the village manifesting itself in a rounder overall texture. The wine is firm without being hard, with a great interplay of supple fruit and intense stoniness.
Vertus Brut Rosé 1er Cru: Larmandier’s Vertus Rosé has always been exemplary, a happy marriage of Cote des Blancs elegance and ripe, succulent red fruit. While interesting, we found the experimental zero-dosage version of the rose sacrificed too much of that nicely caressing texture, and thus this cuvee will remain as it has always been—with around six grams per liter dosage. In keeping with the traditional method by which most rosé Champagne is made, Larmandier Rosé blends a splash of red wine into a base of white wine—in this case, Pinot Noir vinified as a red constitutes 15% of the final blend.
Cramant Grand Cru Blanc des Blancs:From this renowned grand cru in the southern tier of the Cote des Blancs, Larmandier’s Cramant is textbook stuff: beautifully brioche-y, yet with a driving floral elegance and an effortlessly pungent minerality characteristic of Chardonnay grown in a place where it’s truly at home. Vinified entirely in stainless steel to highlight the wine’s chalky soul, this disgorgement is a blend of two-thirds 2012 vintage and one-third 2011. The Cramant is perhaps the wine for which this estate has become the most renowned stateside through the years, and this six-grams-per-liter version of it will doubtlessly please those who prefer a more traditionally styled Blanc des Blancs with a little flesh on its frame.
Cramant Grand Cru Blanc des Blancs “Brut Zero”: The non-dosage disgorgement of Larmandier’s Cramant is a different beast from the “classic” version: less rich but more driving; less broad but longer in the mouth. The total absence of any sense of sweetness allows the limestone to take center stage, and it presents in a more piercing and saline manner than the above wine. Despite its relative rigorousness and austerity, however, this is by no means a difficult wine. Rather, it will appeal to those who relish the sort of palpable, intense mineral character Champagne is capable of when made in such a straightforward fashion.
2008 “Cuvée Signé Francois – Vieilles Vignes” Grand Cru Blanc des Blancs: Larmandier’s prestige cuvee is produced from their oldest parcels of Chardonnay in the grand cru village of Cramant (along with a small amount of fruit from a holding in the Grand Cru Chouilly), and it spends a full five years on the lees before disgorgement. No dosage is present in our version of the 2008, but one would never even know it is missing—the wine’s depth and richness is extraordinary, voicing the sappy and dense character of the fruit Francois wrests from these old vines. Notes of pear tart, fresh figs, baked apples, and cherries frame a vibrant, expansive palate, and the wine’s chalky core shows itself in a clinging, almost salty finish.
•    Also available: 2007 “Cuvée Signé Francois” (6 g/L dosage)
Download Larmandier Tech Sheet 
Domaine NameCHAMPAGNE GUY LARMANDIER
Family/Owners NameLARMANDIER
How many years has the family owned the domaine?Since 1977 creation of the society
How many generations?5 generations
How many hectares of vines are leased?9 HECTARES
How many hectares of vines are owned?9 HECTARES
Are your vineyards or wines Organic or Biodynamic Certified? If yes, in the EU? In the US? If no, are you in the process of becoming certified? When?LUTTE RAISONNÉE
Do you do field work and harvest manually? By machine? By horse? Do you practice green harvest? Leaf thinning?Mechanical and manual work. No leaf-thinning
Do you typically sell or buy any grapes? Please specify.Yes 5% authorized by the Champagne law
Do you sell off any of your wine en vrac?NO
WINE 1
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationAOC CHAMPAGNE
Cepage/UvaggioCHARDONAY 90%. PINOT NOIR 10%
%ABVAlc 12% by vol
# of bottles produced90 000 bottles
Grams of Residual Sugar3g
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Vineyard/lieu dit name(s) and locationsVERTUS, CRAMANT, CHOUILLY
Soil Types(s)Chalky
Average vine age (per vineyard)More than 40 years
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)7500 vines/ha
Approximate harvest date(s)Between September 15 and 20
PLEASE SHARE ANY NOTES ABOUT HARVEST/GROWING SEASON FOR THIS WINE IN THIS VINTAGE2016 : difficult climatic conditions. Lots of rainfall at spring, hail, storm, frost, heat…
HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?Presence of Mildew and oidium. Fortunately August and September cleaned up health status
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
% whole cluster, % destemmedMachanical harvest forbidden in Champagne. We pick whole cluster
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeStainless steel tank
Select or indigenous yeast?Select yeasts
Please share notes about winemaking process. PLEASE ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING, IF APPLICABLE: pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationMalolactic fermentation
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)Stainless steel tank
Duration of elevage6 months in tank. minimum 24 months in bottles.
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US market24 to 36 months
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeKieselguhr filtration
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?Total SO2 after disgorging: 50 – 60 mg/l
Pour les Vins Pétillants
Commentaire sur la processus:Sugar : 6 g/l
Niveau de dosage?Minimum 24 months for the Brut non-vintage
Combien de mois “sur lattes”?And 48 months for the vintage

Rosé Champagne Brings the Holiday Joy

By Eric Asimov

Dec. 19, 2019

Tony Cenicola/The New York Times
Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Champagne used to be such a simple thing. You popped a cork, and the gushing fountain of wine cued celebratory joy.

You might have had a preference among the house styles of the big Champagne producers, or grand marques. Or maybe you simply chose a brand as your own, as if it were cigarettes or beer.

Also worth noting were the chalky, energetic Vertus Premier Cru from Guy Larmandier.

★★½ Guy Larmandier Champagne Rosé Vertus Premier Cru Brut NV $50

Tangy and energetic, with creamy, chalky citrus flavors. (Rosenthal Wine Merchant, New York)

Read the entire article here

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