Champagne Waris-Larmandier, Particules Crayeuses, Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs, $77
If the name Larmandier sounds familier, it is because there are a number of members of that family making Champagne today. We have included a Champagne from Larmandier-Bernier in the past, as well as two from Guy Larmandier, currently run by François Larmandier. His sister, Marie-Hélène, founded Waris-Larmandier in 1989 with her husband Vincent Waris. They are based in the village of Avize, in the heart of the Côtes des Blancs. When Vincent passed away, Marie-Hélène’s son Jean-Philippe joined her and he now oversees the vineyards and the winemaking. One of the first things he did was convert their vineyards to organic and biodynamic farming. An innovative spirit, he also experiments with lesser known historic varietals and extended aging, sometimes using local barrels from Avize. Jean-Philippe has been joined by his younger brother and sister who now work with him to oversee the estate.
This Champagne is 100% Chardonnay, sourced from 40-plus year-old vines in their Grand Cru vineyards in Chouilly, Cramant, Avize, Oger, and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. It is barrel fermented in 600-liter demi-muid barrels (from Burgundy and Avize). Waris-Larmandier Champagnes are known for their understatement, structure, and elegance and this one is a beautiful example, with its vibrant acidity, lovely texture, warm biscuity notes, and long finish. Enjoy it anytime, with food, or on its own.