Champagne Larmandier-Bernier “Rosé de Saignée” Extra Brut (Premier Cru)
Price for The Champagne Society members: $84 (regular price $99)
The Champagne Society June 2017 selection is from Champagne Larmandier-Bernier, the same producer that crafted the beautiful cuvée “Longitude” Extra Brut from April’s selection.
Why did we decide to feature the same producer twice in a row? Glad you asked.
First, we are pleased to be able to offer the wines from this producer once again. For a long while they were not available in Michigan and their return coincides with the height of their winemaking talent. Second, this is a wholly different Champagne from the all Chardonnay based cuvée “Longitude” and a fairly unique Champagne to boot.
Cuvée “Rosé de Saignée” Extra Brut is made solely from a single-vineyard planted with old vine Pinot Noir. The east-facing plot holds 45-50 year old vines. Unlike most rosé Champagne that is fermented as a white wine and then blended with a bit of red still wine, the saignée method has the juice macerating on the skins for two or three days to give the wine its deep color as well as its penetrating style.
Indeed, this Champagne lands somewhere between a graceful Champagne, with all the expression of it’s renowned real estate in the Côte des Blancs, and the power of a mineral red cherry Pinot Noir. On top of all this, while technically a non-vintage Champagne due to the time it has spent in the cellar, this bottling of Cuvée “Rosé de Saignée” is entirely from the 2013 vintage, with disgorgement on January of 2016.
Biodynamically certified since 2004, Pierre Larmandier describes himself as an “organo-realist,” as one must be cultivating vines in this most northern of production zones. Naturally moderate yields and site-specific indigenous yeast fermentation allows Pierre to extract the character of each vineyard parcel. A light but measured hand in the cellar preserves that character in the bottle.