NV Champagne Bonnet-Ponson Brut Premier Cru (375ml)
Region: Chamery < Champagne < France
Grapes: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming since 2013; sand, clay/loam and calcareous soils; biodynamic preparations to stimulate the vine’s natural defenses (nettle, comfrey, horsetail, willow leaf); 1st fermentation with indigenous yeasts, in 228L and 400L oak barrels; 9 months on lees and zero dosage at disgorgement; unfined/unfiltered, with zero added So2; 12% ABV
Winemaker: Cyril Bonnet-Ponson
We love Champagne but don’t drink it that often because it’s too freaking expensive – we get our bubble fix year-round from quirky and affordable Pet’Nat's. But this time of year we crave the real deal, so we seek out a few great organic grower Champagnes that don't break the bank. Having met Cyril Bonnet-Ponson last fall in my backyard, and then again at the RAW LA tasting, his family's 150-year old estate was a natural to feature this year.
Grégoire Bonnet founded the estate in 1862 -- yep, that’s 150 years of continuous production within the same family! Now helmed by Thierry Bonnet and his son Cyril, they farm 10 hectares in the fancy part of town: Premier Cru and Grand Cru villages of Chamery, Vrigny, Coulommes la Montagne, Verzenay, and Verzy. Vines are 35-80 years old, all farmed organic since 2013 and certified in 2016 - pretty rare for Champagne, a highly-sprayed region.
Made from equal parts Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, this perfectly balanced Champagne is floral at first, followed by intoxicating anise and exotic fruit (mango!) Nice and plump in the mouth, with depth and long creamy finish, this feels like a celebratory wine. And the half-bottle format means you can drink it all by yourself as you kick 2020 to the curb -- cheers to that!