Champagne Guy Larmandier has 9 hectares, almost all Chardonnay, in the Cote des Blancs, including Chardonnay in the Grand Cru villages of Cramant and Chouilly, and Chardonnay and a little Pinot Noir in the Premier Cru villages of Vertus and Cuis. They produce 90,000 bottles a year.
They are one of the first Grower Champagnes I ever encountered, years ago, and I was impressed. I'm glad to reacquaint myself with their wines!
They are family owned and operated and were known as Larmandier Pere & Fils until 1977. They were originally established in 1899 and are now operated by Francois Larmandier, and his parents Guy and Colette Larmandier. Other Champagne producers the Larmandiers are related to include Pierre Gimmonet and Larmandier-Bernier.
"These Champagnes boast notable elegance and personality." - Robert Parker
The grapes are harvested by hand and receive little dosage (added sugar), and are light and relatively uncomplicated but have sufficient terroir and minerality to make them very interesting, and enough richness to definitely make them very fun to drink, i.e. hedonistic. If this seems like a contradiction, just get a bottle and try it. It's a Champagne anyone can enjoy, ranging from your silly niece to the Au Pair to the wine snob.
Their wines include:
Guy Larmandier 1er Cru Brut - Primarily Chardonnay with a splash of Pinot Noir and aged for a minimum of 3 years before disgorgement (see tasting note below).
Guy Larmandier Grand Cru Cramant Blanc de Blancs - 100% Chardonnay from the village of Cramant, aged for a minimum of 3 years before disgorgement. Although I currently have no tasting note this has impressed me in the past.
Guy Larmandier Vertus Brut Rose 1er Cru - Chardonnay with 12-15% Pinot Noir from the village of Vertus. A "dry, elegant but fruity" style of Rose.
Tasting Note: Guy Larmandier 1er Cru Brut
Light golden yellow with plenty of small bubbles.
Warm apple tones on the nose followed by yeast, chalk, and other minerals as it warms. Definite apple juice.
Warm sweet apple. Very well balanced and fun on the palate. Long and fruity. Some creamy orange citrus as it warms as well as line.
Simply a joy and lots of fun to drink. Not overly complex yet plenty festive. A good showing for an entry level NV.
On the hedonistic side and happy about it.