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Our “Champagne of the Month” for January 2019 is produced by father and son Thierry and Cyril Bonnet, the 5th and 6th generation of winemakers at Champagne Bonnet-Ponson. Based in the village of Chamery on the Petite Montagne de Reims, the domaine now controls around 10.5 hectares of vines in Chamery, Vrigny, Coulommes la Montagne and Verzenay.
The family can trace their champagne-making roots in the village back to 1862 when the domaine was created by Grégoire Bonnet. Successive generations continued to expand the business which included the need to move premises across the village as a result of Second World War bombing destroying the existing family cellars. The 1952 marriage of André to Monique Ponson – from a family of vignerons in Vrigny gave birth to the domaine Bonnet-Ponson and in turn expanded the family holdings. Cyril joined his father Thierry in 2013 after completing his œnology studies and working in the South-West of France as a maker of red wine. This also coincided with the domaine converting to organic viticulture.
The cuvée “Non Dosé” is a non-vintage wine consisting of 40% Pinot Noir and 30% each of Chardonnay and Meunier. The base wine is from the 2012 harvest with 40% of the blend being made up of reserve wine which is the result of perpetual blending (solera) from 2011/10/09. Approximately 35 plots of vines are used from the villages of Chamery, Vrigny and Coulommes la Montagne where the soils are chalk, limestone and sand. All plots are pressed separately and a gravity system allows for less oxidation and therefore less need for the addition of sulphites. The wine spends 7 months on the lees prior to blending with the reserve wine and then a minimum 5 years bottle ageing before being disgorged. 75% of the blend is aged in Cuve Inox, 20% in concrete vat and 5% in oak barrels. There is partial malolactic fermentation, no filtering and of course minimal sulphites. The wine was disgorged on 31st January 2018 without dosage, alcohol is 12% abv.
Tasted: 16th December 2018
Appearance: Pale, lemon.
Characteristics: Pronounced intensity with primary aromas of pear, green apple, pear drop, grapefruit, lime, raspberry, pineapple, roasted pineapple, honeydew melon, nettle and violet. There are secondary notes of freshly baked bread, yeast, short crust pastry, toasted brioche, vanilla and a hint of cedar. Tertiary aromas include hay, honey, ginger, cinnamon toast, nutty, dried apricot and walnut. It is medium bodied with a creamy mousse and a long finish.
This is an utterly delicious wine from an exciting young producer and one that offers unbelievable value for money. Drinking superbly now, this wine is also suitable for cellaring and enjoying over the next few years, quite brilliant!
Price circa €25.50