Why is this Wine so Yummy?
About Champagne Benoît Marguet
The Marguet family has an old and colorful history in Champagne: they were producing champagne as long ago as 1850, owning a whopping 90 hectares of vines, and in 1883, Émile Marguet was one of the first growers to graft his vines onto American rootstocks in the face of the impending invasion of phylloxera. Unfortunately, this caused him to be so widely ridiculed and condemned by his peers in Champagne that he was eventually forced to pull the vines back out. Bankrupt from this whole operation, he sold his magnificent collection of vineyards to Champagne Henriot, and at the end of the 19th century there were actually bottles labeled Henriot-Marguet.
Today, Benoît Marguet traces his winegrowing ancestry back to Émile Marguet through his father’s family, while on his mother’s side, the Bonnerave family has been producing estate-bottled champagne since 1905. In 1973, his parents created the estate of Marguet-Bonnerave, and in 1991 his father created an additional négociant label called Charles Marguet, which was later renamed Marguet Père et Fils. Benoît had been making both the Marguet-Bonnerave and Marguet Père et Fils wines since 1999, and formally took over Marguet Père et Fils in 2005.
Initially, his family’s vines all belonged to Marguet-Bonnerave, and Marguet had to purchase all of his fruit for Marguet Père et Fils, sourcing primarily from premier and grand cru villages, and paying a premium for organically grown grapes, for which he has a strong preference.
In the Vineyard
The domaine’s holding consist of total 8 ha under vines – all Grand Crus: 7.30 ha in the village of Ambonnay (Lieux dits: Les Saints Remys, Les Beurys, Les Crayeres, La Grande Ruelle, Les Bermonts and Le Parc), and 0.70 ha in the village of Bouzy (Lieux dits: Les Loges, Les Hannepes). The average age of the vines is over 40 years, and the yield consists of 58% of Pinot Noir and 42% Chardonnay.
Benoît has converted the entire estate to extreme biodynamic & aromatherapic farming since 2009. The well being of the soil is priority of Benoit, and since 2010 exclusively 2 horses, which belong to the domaine, plough all the vineyards, which is unique in Champagne and very rare in the world of wine. Benoit works with Claude & Lydia Bourguignon and uses Biodinamic massale selection.
In the Winery
In the winery, the work is done totally by gravity. Fermentation is done plot by plot in wooden vats and small barrels with long aging on its lees. No sugar is being added, and use of sulfites is virtually non-existent or kept for extremely low levels in very few cases.
In the cellar, all of the wines are fermented in oak barrels, which Marguet prefers for the additional complexity that barrel-fermentation brings, but also because using wood makes him feel closer to nature than working with the cold impersonality of steel tanks does. His wines always go through malolactic (“If you’re stopping the malo, you’re interfering with the wine’s evolution,” he says), and all of his cellar work is done with respect to the lunar calendar, including racking, bottling and disgorgement. He is also gradually working more and more without sulfur, as he believes that sulfites are indigestible and that they impart an adverse energy to the wine—in the 2012 harvest, for example, 80 percent of the production was vinified sans soufre.
Most of the wines are bottled by the domaine as single vineyards as well as single village (single cru) , most being Grand Crus rated. They are 2 Rose Champagne (made from Chardonnay grapes dominantly using the blend methods), the non vintage is called SHAMAN Rose wile the vintage is AMBONNAY Rose.
Since 2006, Marguet has been working with Hervé Jestin, the former chef de cave of Duval-Leroy who is now a consultant to many wine estates around Europe. Marguet has gradually integrated Jestin’s homeopathic and biodynamic practices into his own winemaking, and the two of them have collaborated to create a special, naturally grown champagne that encapsulates and expresses Jestin’s philosophies. The first vintage of this super-cuvée was 2006, released in 2013, and the production was divided: half of it was sold under the Jestin label, with the other half under the label Sapience, which Marguet has indicated is a separate brand from the Marguet label.
Here we share the approach. Homeopathy in wine? I can’t say I get it in any form. What I do get is what’s in the glass. The 2012 Ambonnay Rosé from Marguet was the first of his wines I tasted, it’s a divine beverage!
Champagne Sapience, vinified totally with natural methods. Sapience is collaboration between 4 great biodynamic Champagne growers: Benoît Marguet, Benoît Lahaye, Vincent Laval and David Leclapart. The concept is to craft Champagne using extreme biodynamic methods. The blend comprises Chardonnay from David Leclapart, Pinot Meunier from Vincent Laval and Pinot Noir from Benoit Lahaye. The wine is made in the cellar of Benoît Marguet. The base wine spends two years aging in very fine forest selection barrels before the second fermentation in bottle. Its being released 9 years after harvest. This wine when being tasted in blind tastings with other top cru Champagnes including Salon, Krug and others consistently gets the highest ranking. Sadly, this wine is being produced in minute quantity of under 3000 bottles per vintage.
Where in the World is Champagne Benoît Marguet?
Champagne Benoît Marguet is based in Ambonnay.
The map below shows the main sub-regions of Champagne
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From left to right Champagne vineyards by Soil Type, Aspect and Dominant Varietal
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