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Wine Advocate Score: 94
The hamlet of Vertus, situated at the southern end of the Côtes des Blancs, boasts the most extensive vineyard plantings of all the grands or premier cru villages. The town is also famed for being the headquarters of Larmandier-Brenier one of Champagne's most esteemed grower-producers. Proprietor Pierre Larmandier has been affectionately nicknamed 'le moine de Vertus' (The Monk of Vertus) because of his quiet monk-like demeanor and his unwavering zeal to create Champagnes of great purity with an expressive sense of place. Having used biodynamic methods for more than 20 years, Larmandier harvests his fruit with an usually high degree of ripeness. He ferments with indigenous yeasts employing a quiver of vessels: stainless steel tanks, barriques, oak foudres and, in the case of his Rosé Saignée, 600-liter concrete eggs. While most producers rack and filter their vins clairs, Pierre prefers to age his for an extended period (eight to twelve months) on their natural sediments. These and a myriad of other quality measures are used to showcase some of the Côte des Blancs' best terroirs resulting in some of the region's most transparent and transcendent Champagnes. Proving the adage: "All good things come to those who wait," we have finally received our long delayed Larmandier-Bernier shipment containing three of Pierre's finest bottlings.

One certainly doesn't expect to find one of Champagne's most important and profound roses to be crafted entirely from grapes grown in Cote de Blancs which, of course, is a fabled baston of Chardonnay.

This improbable masterpiece was created by Pierre Larmandier of Vertus. It was fashioned from a unique, old-vine, east facing Pinot Noir vineyard co-planted with 15% Pinot Gris. After hand sorting and crushing, the juice macerates on the skins for two or three days to give the wine its rich color (rather than blended with a bit of red still wine further on down the road). It's fermented in a combination of stainless-steel tanks and concrete eggs, and finished with a light dosage of three grams per liter.

WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "The NV Extra Brut Rosé de Saignée (2018 base) will soon be disgorged, and readers will be able to identify it by its deeper, unusually saturated hue without looking at the small print. Bursting with aromas of pear, plums, orange rind and sweet berries, it's medium to full-bodied, round and enveloping, with a ripe core of fruit and the most phenolic presence I've tasted in this perennially superb cuvée. That makes this 2018 base a more vinous, gastronomic wine, which will offer interesting possibilities at the table."
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