n.v. Guy Larmandier, Brut Zero Premier Cru Champagne, Cotes des Blancs, A Vertus, France.
I absolute love the latest version of Guy Larmandier’s Brut Zero Cotes des Blancs Champagne, it’s so dynamic and mineral it stuns in the glass showing bright intensity, loaded with energy and zingy citrusy lemon, green apple and light tropical fruits, while somehow still being poise, elegant and expansive. Maison Champagne Guy Larmandier’s cellars, now run by Guy’s kids Francois and Marie-Helene, is located in the village of Vertus at the southern base of the Cote des Blancs, with the estate owning nine hectares of vineyards, which are all located within the Cote des Blancs, scattered among the Grand Cru villages of Chouilly and Cramant with their Jurassic limestone soils, as well as in the Premier Cru vineyards of Vertus and Cuis. Larmandier’s Champagnes are all aged a minimum of 36 months on the lees and receive a minimal dosage or none, so to showcase the purity, vitality and finesse of these special terroirs. The non vintage Vertus Brut Zero, a recent edition to the lineup, is a cuvee of about 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir from Larmandier’s Premier Cru home village site, which sits on tuffs of chalky soils with old vines, they average about 40 years, the fermentation and aging is all in stainless steel tanks with full malos. Larmandier’s Champagnes all show extreme freshness and are crisply sober and nervy in style with less brioche and more lean, but still generous and lengthy, with this one expressing a beautiful floral nose and sharply focused detail, it’s a gorgeous and serious food wine that can make a palate impact, it’s especially great with briny dishes and can hold up to heat and or soft cheeses. Wet stone, saline and melon notes add to the mix and it’s vivid and refined mousse feels just about perfect with beads of tiny bubbles that heightens the vibrancy and the pleasure in this great bubbly.
($50 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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