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Cramant is one of the most celebrated Grand Cru villages in Champagne's Cote des Blancs, the style of its wines tending towards elegance and finesse in pleasing counterpoint to more steely examples further south. Our dealings with the reputable houses of Bonnaire and Guy Larmandier have underlined both the popularity of the wines, which make for a perfect aperitif, and their outstanding value, the former perhaps as a result of the latter. When the eminent Champagne historian Michel Edwards suggested that we have a look at another Domaine, we were delighted so to do and feel that this grower, Lancelot-Pienne is a more than worthy addition to the portfolio. Representing the fourth generation, Gilles Lancelot is a trained oenologist, who farms a fairly modest eight hectares, half of which are in Cramant itself, the other half in the Vallée de la Marne, the latter an excellent source for Pinot Meunier, which pays a key role in the Cuvée Tradition. The house philosophy, apart from the somewhat inevitable borrowing from Arthurian legend in the naming of its wines, favours relatively late picking, low dosage and several interesting innovations, such as the use of a Solera in one or two of its senior wines. Whilst, somewhat unsurprisingly, there is a focus on Grand Cru and high quality Chardonnay in the range, Pinot Noir is far from forgotten, making up half the blend in the Cuvée Perceval, which underlines both the skill and the versatility of this exemplary house. Simon Field MW, Champagne Buyer
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Bottle 6 x 75cl12cs