PlumpJack Wine & Spirits brings you this month’s Champagne club tasting notes for August. As summer draws to a close, we bring you a champagne with deep family roots in the Cotes des Blancs region. Champagne is perfect for all kinds of celebrations, whether they be a celebration of a new beginning or the last celebration of the season. What better way to say goodbye to summer than with a crisp and refreshing blanc de blancs champagne from a fantastic grower-producer in one of the top regions of Champagne? Gather your friends and give a final toast to summer!
A Votre Santé,
Guy Larmandier Vieilles Vignes Signe Francois Grand Cru Blanc De Blancs Brut 2007
The Larmandier family has been tending vineyards in the Cotes des Blancs of Champagne for over a century. Starting in 1899 as Larmandier Père et Fils, the Larmandier Champagne family tree now includes relations on some level to many different champagne houses. In the 1970s brothers, Philippe and Guy Larmandier branched off from the original family estate to create their own estates. Philippe began the Larmandier-Bernier champagne house in 1971. His son, Pierre is currently the proprietor of Larmandier-Bernier. Now run by his wife Colette and son Francois, Guy Larmandier began the Guy Larmandier house in 1977 in the same village as his brother’s estate, at the base of the Cotes des Blancs in Vertus. Sharing a village and a name does not seem to have posed too many problems for these two exquisite champagne houses and the cousins who run them.
There is one other branch of the Larmandier tree involved in viticulture. Francois’s sister Marie-Helene along with her husband Vincent Waris established their own estate in 1989, Waris-Larmandier, in Avize. The original trunk of this champagne family tree, Larmandier Père et Fils, is now currently owned and operated by another cousin of Pierre and Francois’, Didier Gimonnet. As if things weren’t connected enough or confusing enough – Didier, along with his brother Oscar, are owners of the Pierre Gimonnet Champagne house. As you can see, the roots of the Larmandier family do indeed run deep and wide.
Located in the heart of the famous Côte des Blancs, the vineyards of the family Guy Larmandier can be found in the grand cru classified villages of Cramant and Chouilly and premier cru villages of Vertus and Cuis. Larmandiers’ vineyards total almost nine hectares (22 acres) with Chardonnay vines covering 95% of this land and pinot noir accounting for just 5%. Colette and Francois Larmandier maintain the vineyards meticulously with a constant desire to reduce their environmental footprint harvesting their grapes manually so as to assure the best quality of the finished product.
The Champagne Guy Larmandier Vieilles Vignes Signe Francois Grand Cru Blanc De Blancs Brut 2007 is made with 100% chardonnay giving birth to an elegant finish, with subtle and fragrant flavors. A vintage champagne from 2007, this wine is still showing fresh and vibrant characteristics. The grapes used were from vieilles vignes, or old vines, giving the wine a lush, concentrated body. In the glass this champagne glistens with a lovely golden yellow hue and ultra fine bubbles. The nose has a fresh, fruity and floral finesse with notes of yellow apple, tropical fruits, quince, and citrus. There are hints of sweet herbs, and a slightly nutty, brioche aroma. The palate is equally as fruity with the brioche and nutty characteristic showing up stronger and a faint, chalky minerality to balance it all out. The finish is long and focused with notes of sweet citrus, toasted almonds making this the perfect champagne to bid adieu to summer. This champagne is perfect as an aperitif before dinner, however it also pairs well with scallops, shell fish, and citrus baked halibut. The best pairing for this champagne though is gathering a group of friends for one last summer hoorah!