Vineyard: Located in the Grand Cru of Cramant, these Chardonnay vines are 50-70+ years in age.
Orientation: Southeast exposure
Soil: Chalk and limestone
Viticulture: The vineyards are farmed biodynamically and all grapes are hand harvested
Vinification: Fermented using natural yeasts in a combination of 60% used barriques and 40% used foudres and left on the lees during the winter. Bottled unfined and unflitered, dosage is 2 grams/liter.
Aging: Kept in the cool cellars between 36-48 months, hand disgorged and aged an additional 6 months prior to release.
Notes: First created in the 1988 tinage, the Vieilles Vignes de Levant Extra Brut is a vintage cuvee produced from the oldest Grand Cru vines in the village of Cramant- ranging from fifty to eighty year-old vines. Like the Terre de Vertus, it is a single vintage cuvée fermented in oak, rather than stainless steel, though in this case, it is a combination of large foudres and smaller Burgundy barrels that are used. The wine receives a very low dosage of two grams per liter prior to release. Disgorgement (by hand): September 2016
The 2008 Extra Brut Vieille Vigne de Levant Cramant Grand Cru is a big, imposing Champagne. Dried pear, smoke, slate, dried herbs and crushed flowers all resonate in the glass. The 2008 carries a real sense of old-vine gravitas and power. There is no shortage of intensity, but the slightly forward, oxidative flavor profile leads me to think the 2008 is best enjoyed sooner rather than later. Disgorged: September 2016. Dosage is 2 grams per liter.