Friday, October 19, 2007

Larmandier-Bernier Blancs de Blancs

BrooklynLady brought a bottle of this home recently as a little gift, and WOW, thanks goodness she did. You know how there is a bottle at your local wine shop that you see repeatedly, but that you for some reason just never taste? I have no idea whatsoever why I have never tried the wines of Larmandier-Bernier. They sit right there in both of my favorite wine stores, where the buyers are selective about what they get. I guess that's why it's nice to have some one else pick a wine for you sometimes - you get to taste something new.

(and their website is among the finest wine producer's sites I've come across - check it out) is a grower-producer. They make wine only from their own grapes. They farm biodynamically, they use only the natural yeasts that occur on their grapes, and they believe strongly in little or no dosage (adding sugar after disgorging a bottle of Champagne). All of this means that their wines are a true reflection of their terroir and of the skilled hand of the wine maker. They can vary from year to year, as the yeast character varies, and as the weather in their micro climate varies.

There are six wines in the portfolio: a brut made mostly of Chardonnary, a blancs de blancs, a non-dosage blancs de blancs called Terre Vertus, and old vines brut from Grand Cru vineyards in the village of Cramant, a rosé made entirely of Pinot Noir, and a red Champagne (!) called Vertus Rouge Premier Cru. After tasting the wonderful blancs de blancs, I understand that I must taste all of them if possible - it was truly beautiful wine.

NV Larmandier-Bernier Premier Cru Blancs de Blancs, (about $46, readily available).
Vibrant yellow color with a nose of chalky toast, opening up to reveal lemons, minerals, flower blossoms, and after an hour or so, sweet ginger cake! Just a beautiful nose, a sniffer's delight. The palate is soft and creamy but quite zippy, with white grapefruit, buttered toast and hazelnuts and a lingering lovely finish. I was so sad to see this wine go! A definite re-buy.

And big ups to the BrooklynLady for bringing this wine home. She should become our new Champagne buyer.


Anonymous said...

I got to taste their lineup very recently and was quite impressed. (When my notes resurface I'll try to post more details.)

Brooklynguy said...

Hi Jack- I'd love to see them. It might help me decide whether or not to plunk down some serious ducats to taste their other wines...