Waris-Larmandier, Racines de Trois, $70
This Champagne comes from one of those families in which every sibling and cousin seems to have their own label—not as uncommon as you might think. We have featured Champagnes from both Larmandier-Bernier and Guy Larmandier in the past. Guy’s daughter, fifth-generation grower 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. After 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 and in 2020 they received official Demeter certification. His brother, architect Pierre-Louis and his sister Inès, a designer and sculptor, have also returned to the winery and today they own prime, old-vine vineyards in several villages in the Côte des Blancs, as well as well as small holdings of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier in the Montagne de Reims and the southern Côte des Bar.
The name of this wine, Racines de Trois (“the three roots”), represents the the three Waris siblings, three different terroirs, and three grapes. It is a blend of predominantly Chardonnay, with Pinot Noir and a smaller amount of Pinot Meunier, sourced from sites in the Côte des Blancs, Montagne de Reims, and the Côte des Bar, fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged in 600-liter Burgundy barrels. Waris-Larmandier Champagnes are known for being understated, well strutured, and very elegant. This one is creamy and inviting, with notes of savory biscuits, stone fruit, and red berries. Enjoy it anytime, with chicken dishes, shellfish, or Asian cuisine.