Cuvée Racines de Trois represents the “three roots” of Waris-Larmandier,
which are: the contribution of the three siblings to the project, and their use of three grape varieties (chardonnay and pinot noir and meunier) from three regions of Champagne: Côte des Blancs, Montagne de Reims, and Aube. Together they form their entry-level Champagne, which combines the structure of chardonnay with the red-fruit characteristics from the two pinots in an incredibly drinkable package. Racines de Trois is usually a two-vintage blend without the addition of solera wine. The average élevage for Cuvée Racines de Trois is as follows: the base wines are aged 6-to-18 months before secondary fermentation in bottle, followed by 24-to-36 months of lees aging, sur lattes.
Particules Crayeuses is their flagship Blanc de Blancs cuvée, sourced from the estate’s biodynamically farmed, old-vine chardonnay plots in the Grand Cru villages of Chouilly, Cramant, Avize, Oger, and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Particules Crayeuses is barrel-fermented with indigenous yeasts and is usually a two vintage blend with the addition of a small amount of wine from a solera started in the 2013 vintage. This Blanc de Blancs is understated, structured, and ultra-elegant. The average élevage for Particules Crayeuses is as follows: the base wines are aged 6-to-18 months before secondary fermentation in bottle, followed by 24 to 36 months of lees aging, sur lattes.
The most exciting chapter for the Waris-Larmandier estate lies in their exploration of Grand Cru villages through the limited releases of old-vine, lieux-dits vintage Champagnes. They began their terroir project with a focus on two vineyards, which are very special to the family: Porte de Bas, a vineyard planted by their great-grandfather Jean Waris in 1939 near the winery in Avize, and Les Bauves, a lieu-dit from a vineyard planted in 1962 in Cramant. The future holds the release of up to nine more lieu-dit terroir wines from Grand Cru villages. Recent and upcoming releases include: Les Regards d’Avize in Avize and Les Terres Des Buissons in Cramant (both planted in 1963), La Carelle, a vineyard planted in 1976 in Chouilly that their great-grandmother Renée Diebolt won at a flea market, and a majestic Les Chetillons in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger.
Wines from this series are released after a minimum of five years élevage in bottle. Once they are tasted by the family and deemed ready for sale in very limited quantities, as production of each cuvée is less than a thousand bottles, depending on the vintage. The base wines for the vintage-dated lieux-dits age for 6-to-18 months before secondary fermentation in bottle, followed by a minimum of five years of lees-aging sur lattes under natural cork. All of the lieux-dits wines are hand-disgorged and finished with a top-quality, extra-long natural cork to ensure the resulting wine will continue to develop elegantly in bottle.
With all three siblings now back living and working in the village of Avize, each contributes to the future vision of the project, including transforming their holdings to polyculture farming with a biodynamic vegetable garden for a future hospitality kitchen they are building in an old barn. Design is by Pierre-Louis and Inès, of course. The future of grower-Champagne is indeed bright in the Waris-Larmandier family.