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Vieille Vigne du Levant Grand Cru - 2010


4.4 / 5.0

France » Champagne AOC » Côte des Blancs » Cramant
white traditional sparkling, extra brut
On lees
not available
Larmandier-Bernier Vieille Vigne du Levant Grand Cru 2010


4.4 / 5.0750 ml@101 Bar · Small Growers: 45 years past the revolution

This wine presents a fascinating bouquet, combining mushrooms and onion soup with the minerality of chalk. These are complemented by the sweetness of baked apples and honey, with intriguing notes of iodine and sea breeze adding depth. Its intense, oily texture is masterfully balanced by a backbone of nice acidity and distinct minerality. The finish is long and evolving, featuring flavours of lemon and the damp, earthy character of a wet cellar. Overall, it's a complex wine that successfully marries a diverse range of flavours.

Wine #7 on Small Growers: 45 years past the revolution event.


Larmandier-Bernier, under the visionary guidance of Pierre Larmandier, stands as a beacon of excellence and innovation in the Champagne region, particularly in the Côte des Blancs. Since assuming control of his family's estate in 1988, Pierre has been at the forefront of biodynamic viticulture in Champagne, championing low yields and mature grape harvesting to achieve a balance of sugars and acidity – a quest that he describes as the holy grail of grape growing.

The estate, with a history intertwined with both the Larmandier and Bernier families dating back to the French Revolution, was officially established in 1971 through the union of Philippe Larmandier and Elisabeth Bernier. Today, the estate, managed by Pierre and Sophie Larmandier and their son Arthur, spans nearly eighteen hectares across some of the most esteemed villages in the Côte des Blancs: Cramant, Chouilly, Oger, and Avize (all Grand Crus), as well as Vertus, a premier cru village.

Pierre's approach to viticulture is deeply rooted in organic and biodynamic principles, having transitioned to these practices by 1999. The estate is predominantly planted with Chardonnay, complemented by smaller proportions of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. The Larmandiers' commitment to quality is evident in their conservative approach to yields, especially as their vines approach 50 years of age.

In the cellar, Pierre's philosophy continues, with a focus on producing wines that authentically express the unique terroirs of the Côte des Blancs. Indigenous yeasts are used for alcoholic fermentations, and each cru is vinified separately, employing a mix of foudres and Burgundian barrels based on the parcel and vintage characteristics. Malolactic fermentation is allowed, and blending decisions are made in the summer following the harvest, determining whether their single-vineyard bottlings will be produced.

Larmandier-Bernier's Champagnes are characterized by their minimal dosage levels, a decision Pierre believes is "earned in the vineyard." This philosophy results in Extra Brut Champagnes that are notable for their textural purity and underlying energy, reflecting the chalky mineral soils of their terroir. The lineup includes Latitude Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut NV, Longitude Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut 1er Cru NV, Terre de Vertus Bl. de Blancs Non Dosé 1er Cru, Les Chemins d'Avize Extra Brut 1er Cru, Vieille Vigne de Levant Extra Brut GC, and Rosé de Saignée Extra Brut 1er Cru.

Each Champagne in the Larmandier-Bernier portfolio is a testament to the estate's commitment to showcasing the profound potential of low-/no-dosage bottlings, emphasizing the purity, energy, and balance inherent in their exceptional terroir. With impeccable balance and the ability to age gracefully, the Champagnes of Larmandier-Bernier are not only highly regarded but also sought after by connoisseurs and collectors worldwide. They stand as reference points in the Champagne region, embodying the elegance, complexity, and vivacity that define the best of the Côte des Blancs.