Terre de Vertus is one of three single terroir Chardonnay wines produced here and certainly the most famous. It is 100% Chardonnay coming from the chalky 1er Cru vineyard plots of Les Barillers and Les Faucherets, situated mid-slope in Vertus. These neighbouring sites make the most explicitly mineral wines of the village, wines that can recall the best of Mesnil (to the north) in their raciness and drive. The natural alcoholic fermentation (natural yeast) and the malolactic fermentation begin spontaneously in large oval Stockinger and the wines are left on their natural lees for nearly a year (and undergo gentle bâtonnages, but no filtering or fining). Each bottle is disgorged manually 6 months before being shipped. This wine is non dosé (no sugar added), in order to respect its purity from beginning to end. - Importer Note
Like Egly-Ouriet and Selosse, Larmandier-Bernier has been rated as one of Champagne's top 5 producers by Andrew Jefford in his celebrated work, The New France, [Mitchell Beazley]. This estate is meticulously run by Pierre Larmandier and his wife Sophie. Pierre's family have owned vineyards in the Côte des Blancs since the Revolution. The estate is now 15 hectares, predominantly in Vertus, at the Southern tip of the Côte des Blancs, yet there are also holdings in Cramant, Chouilly, Oger & Avize. The vineyards are biodynamically worked (almost unheard of in Champagne) and the average age of the vines is 35 years (most Champagne vineyards are considered 'old' and due for replanting at 25 years). Yields are kept very low by Champagne standards, 50 hl/ha on average.
In the winery the approach is classic "minimalist" with indigenous yeasts, long, slow ferments of up to two months and very little sulphur. A mixture of fermenting vessels are utilised including large oak vats and even barriques. Very low dosage levels too and the dosage is designed to be as neutral as possible. Sometimes, as is the case in the "Terre de Vertus" there is no dosage at all. In other words, everything is designed to maximise the expression of the vineyard, commune and vintage. The resulting wines are wonderful expressions of their origins, fine and delicate, yet with and a mineral intensity that keeps you coming back, sip after sip. Peter Liem (champagneguide.net) has written: "Larmandier-Bernier is one of the finest estates in the Côte des Blancs, producing wines of unusual detail and clarity of expression. The style is for champagnes that are dry, minerally and terroir-driven, emphasizing purity and finesse over richness or sheer power."Such purity and minerality could only come from the man that Laurent d'Harcourt, MD of Pol Roger, recently dubbed "The Ayatollah of quality" and his impeccably tended vineyards. - Importer Note
|Product Type||Wine Sparkling Champagne|
|Winemaking Practices||Minimal Intervention|