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2012 Larmandier-Bernier ‘Vielle Vigne du Levant’ Grand Cru

  • Producer
    Champagne Larmandier-Bernier
  • Vintage
  • Grape Variety
    Champagne & Sparkling
  • Region
  • Types
  • Size

One of the true gems in Champagne, Larmandier-Bernier is a small grower estate with eighteen biodynamically farmed hectares in Grand Cru & Premier Cru villages of the Côte des Blancs. Both the Larmandier and Bernier families have had a long history in the Champagne region, dating back to the French revolution, but it was not until the marriage of Philippe Larmandier and Elisabeth Bernier in 1971 that Champagne Larmandier-Bernier was officially established. The small house today is directed by Pierre and Sophie Larmandier, who took over the direction of the family estate in 1988. In 1992, Pierre began to convert the vineyards over to organic and then to full-blown biodynamic viticulture in 1999.

Ever the purists, Larmandier-Bernier utilize only indigenous yeasts, separate vinification for each cru, and little to no dosage for an unadulterated expression of terroir in their wines. The wines are vinified in a large, old, wood foudres or smaller Burgundian barrels, depending on each cru and each vintage with an extraordinary long aging time on the lies. Reserve wines are kept in stainless steel tanks or enamel-lined tanks (a perpetual reserve started in 2004). Blending is generally done in July following harvest, and it is at this time that the Larmandiers decide whether or not their single-vineyard bottlings will be produced.

Tasting Notes

96 Points Antonio Galloni
The 2012 Extra Brut Vieille Vigne de Levant is another standout in this range from Pierre and Sophie Larmandier. It possesses tremendous intensity and tons of pure power. Lemon confit, apricot, spice, marzipan and dried herbs saturate the palate in a Champagne endowed with serious concentration. The 2012 is dense, rich and full of personality. These 50-70 year-old vines confer notable complexity. The 2012 waa vinified in neutral oak and bottled with dosage of two grams per liter.

The Envied Cellar
The Envied Cellar
The Envied Cellar