Grower champagnes pose a problem: they lack the flash. What they don’t lack is cash. So, why spend the same on an unheard of producer when you could buy one of the grandes marques? In a word: taste. In two words: wine geekdom.
I tasted through a half-dozen grower champagnes recently and really liked the ones from Larmandier-Bernier. The Blanc de Blanc Brut 1er Cru NV (find this wine, about $38) is very lively with a straw color, a fine bead, pleasant acidity reminscent of green apples, and lovely balance.
The Terre de Vertus bottling is slightly more and has the rare distinction among champagnes to be bottled without a dosage, the topping up that is done to most champagnes before the cork is placed in and they are moved out the cellar door. It has excellent purity and is crisp, dry and food friendly. It’s slightly more expensive so I’d opt for the other bottling.
Thanks to Sam at Becks and Posh for suggesting this theme for WBW!