The dynamic, young Waris-Larmandier team farms prime, old-vine vineyards of Grand Cru chardonnay in the Côte des Blancs, located in the villages of Chouilly, Cramant, Avize, Oger, and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Today three siblings, Pierre-Louis, Jean-Philippe, and Inès, along with their mother Marie-Hélène, are shaping an exciting future at Waris-Larmandier. All of the farming at Waris-Larmandier is certified biodynamic and the focus is on the pure expression of terroir, as vigneron Jean-Philippe Waris was inspired by his time at Benoît Lahaye, among others.
Waris-Larmandier releases a series of extremely limited lieu-dit bottlings after extensive tasting when each has reached its peak terroir expression. The total production of each bottling is minuscule, averaging around 700 bottles each. Only the best barrels are bottled; the rest are destined for the multi-vintage Particules Crayeuses cuvée.
Les Regards d’Avize lieu-dit is a highly-regarded old chardonnay plot (.4279ha) in Avize their grandfather, Jean Waris, managed for a widow in Avize for many years. Having no children, she gifted the parcel to the family in 1995. A small part of the vineyard is pre-phylloxera, and the remainder was replanted from the same low-yielding, old chardonnay clone in 1963. Les Regards d’Avize is serious and complex, with a distinct minerality, cutting structure, and surprisingly, a lot of red fruit notes for a Blancs de Blanc.
Vintage – 2013 was an exceptional vintage in the Côte des Blancs, producing gorgeously structured chardonnays that have only improved with age. Delayed flowering into July pushed the harvest to September 30, 2013, one of the latest harvests since 1988.
Vinification – Grapes are hand-harvested and crushed in a traditional 4000 kg vertical wooden basket press; only free-run juice is used for the primary fermentation. Spontaneous fermentation occurs with native yeasts in stainless steel with spontaneous partial malolactic fermentation. The base wine was aged 18 months in used 600L demi-muid Burgundy barrels and Avize Champagne barrels before bottling. It was then aged sur lattes for over five years under cork (not crown cap), with hand-riddling. No dosage is added, and the wine is unfiltered. It was disgorged on September 28, 2020. 703 bottles produced.