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Sale

Larmandier-Bernier Vieilles Vignes du Levant Champagne Grand Cru Extra Brut 2011

$119.00

The old vines of the Levant face south-east and benefit from an exceptional terroir. They are between 60 and 85 years old. Their roots go down deep, and the diversity of the old vine stocks contributes to the complexity of the wine.

I was lucky to lock into just one case of this insanely good bottle from Pierre Larmandier in 2011 that Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate contends is one of the “wines of the vintage”. Kick off 2022 in style with this outrageously good Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs.

Revisited from the June 2019 disgorgment, Larmandier-Bernier’s 2011 Extra-Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Vieille Vigne du Levant continues to drink superbly, bursting from the glass with aromas of pear, peach, toasted almonds, white flowers, fresh bread and oyster shell. Full-bodied, layered and concentrated, it’s deep and fleshy, with superb concentration, racy acids and a long, saline finish. I have previously contended that Pierre Larmandier produced Champagne’s wines-of-the-vintage in 2011, and every bottle I open seems to confirm that. Indeed, if one were to taste only his wines, along with those produced by a small handful of other growers, one could easily think very differently about this unheralded year.

Larmandier-Bernier numbers among the Côte de Blanc’s—and Champagne’s—finest estates. Based in Vertus, the Larmandier family farm organically and harvest late, vinifying the resulting wines in wood. The result is vinous, elegantly muscular Champagnes that are concentrated but precise. In a region that still produces far too many meager, brittle wines, Larmander-Bernier reminds us of the plenitude and texture of which great Champagne is capable. The range begins with two non-vintage Blanc de Blancs: Latitude, broad and charming; and Longitude, more chiseled and incisive. Next come three vintage cuvées: Vieille Vigne de Levant, from Cramant; Les Chemins d’Avize, from the eponymous village; and the Terre de Vertus. Two perfumed rosé de saignée cuvées complement the portfolio, now joined by small quantities of still red and white Côteaux Champenois. As remarkable for their consistency as their quality, any wine that bears this family’s label is well worth seeking out. -William Kelley, The Wine Advocate

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Expert Reviews

97 Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Revisited from the June 2019 disgorgment, Larmandier-Bernier’s 2011 Extra-Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Vieille Vigne du Levant continues to drink superbly, bursting from the glass with aromas of pear, peach, toasted almonds, white flowers, fresh bread and oyster shell. Full-bodied, layered and concentrated, it’s deep and fleshy, with superb concentration, racy acids and a long, saline finish. I have previously contended that Pierre Larmandier produced Champagne’s wines-of-the-vintage in 2011, and every bottle I open seems to confirm that. Indeed, if one were to taste only his wines, along with those produced by a small handful of other growers, one could easily think very differently about this unheralded year.

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