Originally known as Vieille Vigne de Cramant, the champagne was christened after the name of the special vineyard, Bourron du Levant. "Levant" is an expression for the East, a reference to the privileged location of the vineyard, which enjoyed the first rays of sunshine of the day in the morning. Ages ranging from 56 to more than 80 years prove the quality of the grapes. After a gentle pressing and light clarification, the juice finds its way into the Stockinger barrels for alcoholic and malolactic fermentation. The ripe grapes from the first pressing are left on the yeast without filtering or clarification. Only 2 grams are used for dosage and no blending with wines from other vintages or terroirs. The champagne is aged in the bottle for seven or eight years before being disgorged by hand six months before release.
The golden yellow appearance shines with a fine mousseux. Of all the wines Larmandier-Bernier has to offer, Vieille Vigne is the most powerful - a tribute to the terroir of Cramant and its long maturation. With a captivating mass of firmness, depth and richness that nonetheless seems shaped in a controlled way, it smells irresistibly of fresh and partly dried apricots, mirabelles and pears, camomile and hay flowers, brioche and caramel with underlying notes of oak and vanilla. It also offers hints of Virginia tobacco, cardamom and cool stone.
On the palate, the champagne unfolds a delicious, lavish taste. The fruit intensity is excellent without being lush. In fact, the acid structure seems to make it almost weightless. Notes of yeast, honey, ginger and cardamom are noted, along with an abundance of ripe stone fruit and a mix of lemons, kumquats and grapefruits. The minerality from the chalky soil not only complements the necessary acidity, but also an almost palpable mineral vibration. Although rich in richness, the wine is supremely precise and balanced. An inspiring Blanc de Blancs.
Goes well with veal fillet and farce wrapped in puff pastry with champagne sauce and truffle jus. Also ideal with sole and Norway lobster accompanied by glazed chicory and beurre blanc. An additional option would be roasted catfish served with steamed yellow beets, pollen and elderberry sauce.
Champagne Larmandier-Bernier, 19 Avenue du general de Gaulle, 51130 Vertus / France, Organic certificate: FR-BIO-10