Practice: Biodynamic, Organic
Bonnet-Ponson Premier Cru Brut Champagne NV
This blend of 35% Pinot Noir, 35% Meunier and 30% Chardonnay with 40% coming from reserve wines (perpetual blending) from the preceding harvests is standard for the house of Bonnet.
The owner/winemaker Cyril Bonnet assembles about 35 vine plots over the villages of Chamery, Vrigny and Coulommes-la-Montagne, in the western part of the Montagne de Reims.
The average age of the vines is roughly 35 years. For each of the vineyard plots, various types of soil can be found including, siliceous and calcareous sands, silty/clay soil on chalky subsoil, and calcareous clay soil with millstone fragments.
Each harvest, all the fruit is hand picked and the grapes are pressed within 4 hours. Primary fermentation occurs in several different containers inculding: inox tank (75%), concrete tank (20%), and oak barrel (5%).
The wine then ages on lies for 7 months before blending with the reserve wine. There is partial Malolactic Fermentation post blending. No filtration occurs and minimal use of sulfites (under 40 mg/L).
Average aging in bottle is 4 years. Dosage: 8 to 10 g/l, traditional liqueur. This is a full bodied and aromatically intense bubbly. The signature cuvee draws its identity from the calcareous clay and sandy terroirs of the “petite montagne”.
On the nose, you’ll find white fruit and citrus melt together with candied notes, ripe Mirabelle and nutty aromas. There is quite a lot of freshness up front, vinosity and structure for the mid-palate, tenderness on the finish.
About the Winery
Since Grégoire Bonnet in 1862, six generations of the family have built the house of Champagne Bonnet-Ponson. Recolitantsmanipulants from the very beginning, each generation has made a contribution to the legacy in digging new caves, buying new parcels or creating a new cuvee.
Thierry Bonnet and his son, Cyril, are now the guardians of tradition and maintain the original style of winemaking by sourcing fruit from only their family-held vineyards. The legacy is spread over 26 acres and five Premier Cru and Grand Cru villages: Chamery, Vrigny, Coulommes la Montagne, Verzenay and Verzy. With a desire to preserve the terroir and the continuing search to improve their wines, Bonnet-Ponson now manages their vineyards using organic practices.
This choice in cultivation stems from a simply and verified observation: in a healthy, natural living environment, the vines produce grapes with higher expression and more balanced composition. The essence of Champagne Bonnet-Ponson lies at the heart of the Montagne de Reims, in sixty parcels of vineyards.
The different geologies (calcareous clay, chalk and sand) and position on the slopes create a unique situation for each vine. Chardonnay, pinot noir and petit meunier have been planted there by successive generations to realize maximum potential of each terroir.
Once the grapes are harvested, the effort to coax their full potential resides in patient and respectful winemaking. In allowing each parcel’s juice to ferment in oak barrels or stainless steel vats, the best expression of their quality is enhanced while preserving the aging potential. During the next eight months the contact between the wine and its lees builds future structure, guaranteeing a nice evolution over time.
Next comes the crucial assemblage step in which the personality of each cuvee is created, respecting the traditional house method. For the Brut 1er cru and the Brut Rose, reserve and young wines of the three different grape varieties are blended to bring complexity and balance.