From: Champagne, France
Taste: The NV Champagne Guy Larmandier Cramant Grand Cru Brut Zero presents a fascinating contrast to the conventional. This zero-dosage version is less rich but more focused, and its mouthfeel is less broad but decidedly more enduring. The absence of sweetness unveils the vivid limestone character, which manifests as piercing and saline.
Esteemed wine critic Stephen Tanzer praises its "extreme purity" and "superb clarity and expression of flavor." The Wine Advocate lauds its resemblance to "top-drawer, old-school Chablis," while Antonio Galloni extols its "outstanding persistence on the palate and the pure breed of a first-class wine." Jancis Robinson MW heralds Larmandier as one of only two "superior" artisan estates in its appellation.
Drinking Larmandier's Cramant is like embarking on a sensory journey through the chalky hillsides of Cramant. The effervescence, floral and citrus aromas, and the seemingly endless finish enchant the senses. The wine brims with luxuriousness and class, reminiscent of Grand Cru Burgundy.
As stated by Master Sommelier Ian Cauble, "Guy Larmandier was one of the original growers to challenge the market dominance of 'big house' Champagne. Today's bone-dry Grand Cru Cramant, a beloved and rare wine, proves that quality at this small estate has never been higher."
Pairing: Pair this majestic Champagne with a platter of sashimi and freshly shucked oysters, and let the wine speak for itself in all its regal glory. We’re adding a recipe for Summer Squash Fritters With Garlic Dipping Sauce below because “champagne and snacking” are some of our favorite ways to enjoy an early evening or late afternoon.
From an article titled “Pairing different styles of Champagne” by iDealwine. “These are champagnes produced solely with Chardonnay. The preferred terroir is, as the name eloquently suggests, the Côte des Blancs to the south Epernay, with world-renowned Grands Crus such as Avize, Cramant, Mesnil-sur-Oger, Chouilly. As a general rule, blanc de blancs champagnes are more crystalline with a nice tension and aromatic expression with a tendency towards white flowers and citrus fruits.
The most refined Blancs de Blancs are the ideal wine at aperitif, as they don’t overwhelm the palate and leave it fresh for the rest of the meal. Seafood tapas and fish terrine, slices of parmesan, or dry goat’s cheese are excellent food pairings. If they have very low dosage, these champagnes go very well with oysters, or more generally seafood platters.”
Summer Squash Fritters With Garlic Dipping Sauce
Recipe from “In the Kitchen and David: QVC’s Resident Foodie Presents Comfort Foods That Take You Home”
Adapted by Kim Severson
About. A quiet revolution has occurred in the holy realm of Champagne, where names like Veuve Clicquot have long reigned supreme. Among the lesser-known artisanal producers, a treasure is waiting to be savored by the discerning palates of wine connoisseurs. Enter the NV Champagne Guy Larmandier Cramant Grand Cru Brut Zero—a mesmerizing ode to craftsmanship and terroir.
Guy Larmandier, a pioneering grower in the region, laid the foundation of what can be termed the undercurrent in the champagne world – The Cult of the Champagne Grower. While Larmandier and others like him have primarily stayed out of the limelight, they've had a small but fervent following. Since Neal Rosenthal began importing Guy Larmandier's Champagnes to the US in 1982, a passionate community began forming around these exquisite creations, mainly in New York.
The Man Behind the Bubbles
Larmandier's vineyards, nestled in the Côte des Blancs, were particularly blessed for
growing Chardonnay. With a mere nine hectares under cultivation, comparable to a small Burgundian domaine, Guy focused on quality over quantity.
Guy's legacy has been carried forward by his family, his wife Colette, and children François and Marie-Hélène taking the reins. Their production continues to be characterized by a delicate touch with dosage. Interestingly, as global warming has rendered the grapes riper, Rosenthal, the astute observer, advised them to produce zero-dosage cuvées to maintain the wine's balance and authentic expression of the terroir.
The Domaine and The Cellar
The Domaine of Guy Larmandier is located in Vertus, in the southern part of the Côte des Blancs, and holds nine hectares of vineyards in the grand-cru-rated villages of Chouilly and Cramant as well as the Premier Cru villages of Vertus and Cuis. These locations tenderly nurture the Chardonnay grape varietal; the sites are known for their finesse and minerality.
A testament to their unwavering commitment to quality, the Larmandier family ensures manual harvesting. The Champagnes are aged 36 months on the lees, and those destined for the US market are disgorged on order, receiving no dosage to emphasize the purity and finesse of this distinctive terroir.
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