Champagne Larmandier Bernier, France 2011


“Drink listening to Yusef Lateef’s “Poor Butterfly “and with good company! I recommend getting your hands on as many of these as possible”

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Terre De Vertus Premier Cru 2011

Larmandier-Bernier is run by Pierre Larmandier and his wife Sophie, they are grape growers and wine makers, growing all the grapes used in this wine giving them, as producers, the ultimate control over the end wine. I think for some Terre de Vertus could be life changing, in fact to quote Robert Walters the author of “Champagne a secret history” and Wine Importer, “I was floored.”

This wine is from a single vineyard, unlike so many Champagnes which tend to come from many vineyards all over the 30 000 hectares of vineyards in Champagne. It is also Biodynamic which is again unusual in Champagne as many of the agricultural practices used in Champagne are questionable. Terre de Vertus is also 100% Chardonnay with zero dosage (dosage is a mixer added before the wine is released on the market, it contains sugar, reserve wine and spirt alcohol). To have zero dosage is a rarity in Champagne. Larmandier-Bernier Terre de Vertus 2011 is a truly honest wine, not hiding behind added sugar or reserve wine and it is expressive of Champagne. It is very tight, with an intensely chalky citrusy core. There is a tonne of complexity in this wine too, with floral high notes, green apple skins and has the wine aged on wild yeast lees for 4 years in the bottle. This gives some toasty notes and nutty edges, but not overtly, I really had to search for them.

It is an edgy wine and acid gives the wine a nervous energy which I found really exciting. I drank this with fresh local natural Oysters and it hit the spot. Drink listening to Yusef Lateef’s “Poor Butterfly “and with good company! With that acid it will cellar well for another 6 to 10 years – I recommend getting your hands on as many of these as possible!

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