Why is this Wine so Yummy?
Larmandier-Bernier was one of the first grower Champagnes to make a mark in Australia. Everyone had been used to hyped up, over market crap from big houses. These guys sent a ripple through the market that became a shock wave of yumminess! 100% Chardonnay Longitude is the more elegant of the two in comparison with Latitude.
Agrapart Terroirs Blanc de Blanc NV
I can feel a When Harry Met Sally Moment coming on! Not a fake one! This is the kind of bubble you propose with! Personality+ The ingredients: 100% Grand Cru Vineyards + 100% Chardonnay + 50% Reserve Wine, 50% barrel aged + 48months on lees + low dosage = Happiness in a glass. Give the super cuvées a run for half the coin (read kicks butt).
About Grower Champagne
I don’t know who coined the term “Grower Champagne”, when you see it, make sure you take a second look before you move on. Champagne producers are split into three groups:
Houses that make over-cropped boring fizz, battery acid with bubbles and a bit of alcohol.
Bigger houses that are pushing hard to make yummy wine, own some of their vineyards, buy a lot of grapes and have some exceptional super cuvées (top wines – think Dom Pérignon).
Grower producers that grow 100% of their grapes themselves and make wines that have bags of personality.
Larmandier-Bernier & Agrapart sits comfortably in the Grower group. Doing all the little 1 percenters in the vineyard and winery that make the difference between a drink and a pleasure fest!
Visit the vineyards and you’ll see horse drawn ploughs and during the pruning and harvesting seasons the same faces year after year. That kind of continuity just makes for deep knowledge and empathy for the vineyards that = great wine.
In the winery the effort goes in with use of old oak barrels and foudré, large format barrels reaching into the 1000’s of litres each. Lees stiring, re-suspending yeast from fermentation that have settled to the bottom of the barrel to add extra creaminess and complexity. Use of carefully crafted reserve wines in the blends. Reserve wines are older wines that are a blend of several different years, often stored in foudré. Their use imparts complexity and a generosity that you wouldn’t see in the wine until it had been aged for much longer in bottle were it not for their use.
All of these things only have a positive impact when the fruit is of quality, has the depth to handle oxygen contact and be improved by it rather than fall apart.
Combined the effort in the vineyard and winery result in layerd, complex, yummy wine, with bags of personality.