Disgorged May 2022. Larmandier-Bernier tend just 1.2-hectres of old-vine Pinot Noir in Vertus, grown on the southern side of the village where the soil is a little richer, with a higher content of clay. These vines are best known as the source for the domaine’s pioneering Rosé de Saignée. Over the years Pierre Larmandier has also made some still wine from these vines (in the past, VertusRouge was as famous as the red wines of Bouzy) but until now, never a Blanc de Noirs.
2015 was a beautiful year for Pinot Noir in Vertus, leading Larmandier to vinify a white Champagne from these grapes alongside the rosé. It’s made in the same way as the domaine’s Terre de Vertus, with the base wine naturally fermented and raised in a mixture of large cask and vat for 11 months on lees (and bottled in July 2016). Following almost six years in bottle, it was disgorged in May 2022 with zero dosage to preserve the natural richness of the Pinot Noir.
The result is a wonderfully complex and vinous Blanc de Noirs. A scintillating cocktail of red apple, sour berry compote and rushing minerals introduces a powerfully structured palate balanced by a rigid spine of freshness, and tense, holding grip. It’s very Larmandier and very delicious; a champagne of exceptional detail, a wow wine. Unfortunately, this release is very limited and the next vintage (from 2019), is a good four years away. Make hay while the sun shines!