Les Chemins d’Avize Grand Cru Extra Brut
Originating from our two vieilles vignes vineyards in the heart of Avize and the latest of special Champagnes, this distinguished cuvée should be tasted on “alone together” occasions….
LES CHEMINS D’AVIZE has arrived to complete the range of singular (single-parcel) Champagnes. This approach began back in 1988 with Vieille Vigne de Cramant, continued in 1995 with Terre de Vertus and in 1999 with le Rosé de Saignée.
Pierre and Sophie had known for a long time that the terroir of Avize deserved a singular cuvée. It was in 2009, thanks to the acquisition of a small press, that these two parcels were separated. They are situated in the heart of the village of Avize on the parcels named “Chemin de Plivot and “Chemin de Flavigny”.
It is from the soil here – very poor, with the chalk outcropping – that the 50-year-old vines derive delicate floral characteristics and a unique mineral density.
Vinification and maturation
The grapes are pressed gently, the juices are clarified very slightly and then go directly into wood. The natural alcoholic fermentation (indigenous yeasts) and the malolactic fermentation begin spontaneously in the Stockinger casks and vats. The wines are matured on the lees during their first year, with no filtering or fining being carried out.
The bottles are taken down into the coolness of the cellars and stacked on lattes, the second fermentation takes place and the maturation continues slowly for at least 5 more years. Each bottle is disgorged by hand 6 months before being marketed. The dosage is only 2 g/L (extra brut).
Indigenous yeasts are present naturally on the bloom of the grapes (unless the chemical treatments have been too aggressive).
Today, 99% of Champagnes are made using commercial yeasts, i.e. selected and then multiplied in the laboratory for the whole of Champagne. They are of very good quality, but contribute to the standardisation of tastes.
A dense, elegant wine
This wine calls for a great dish such as delicately roasted lobster.
Vinous – December 2018 – 94 points
« With air, the 2012 is broad and expansive, with the layers of fruit intensity and tension that are such signatures of Pierre and Sophie Larmandier’s very best wines. What a gorgeous Champagne this is. »