New Champagne Releases from Franck Bonville
- Burch Family Wines,
- Marchand & Burch
A focus on the superb 2012 Vintage
Champagne Franck Bonville is a Recoltant-Manipulant house based in Avize in the Côte de Blancs. The family have been vineyard owners since 1901 and producers since 1946. The holdings comprise 15 hectares across 77 individual plots, all are classified Grand Cru and all are Chardonnay.
Olivier Bonville is the fourth Generation proprietor and winemaker. Their mosaic of vineyards weaves through some of the most coveted Chardonnay terroir in all of Champagne. Olivier’s keen awareness of this has motivated his sensitive approach to viticulture including the preservation of older vines at the expense of higher yields but in order to more transparently express the influence of the chalky soils of the Côtes on his various plots.
The house had received the HVE (haute valeur environnementale) accreditation for their sustainable vineyard practices. The cuvées express the essence of Grand Cru Chardonnay and Champagne from the Côtes des Blancs and the terroir of individual villages and vineyards.
2012 “An exceptional vintage in Champagne. Despite low yields thanks to frost, hail and disease early in the season, August saw conditions improve dramatically resulting in exemplary maturity, acidity and grape health at harvest.” Jancisrobinson.com
“It is a great vintage. Probably better than 1996 and close to 1990 on average, but in some special locations it could well be better than that – closer to a 1947,” comments Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon. One of the best harvests the Champagne region has ever experienced, 2012 seems set to break the emerging tradition of a legendary vintage occurring at six year intervals (1990, 1996, 2002, 2008). Despite low yields – in some places half of the allowed production – the base wines showed exemplary maturity and acidity right from the off. “The quality and the intensity are definitely there to make an outstanding vintage,” added Richard Geoffroy, Chef de Caves at Dom Pérignon.
The 2012 Cuvées
The vintage Cuvee represents the terroir of the Grand Cru village of Avize where the house and the majority of its plots are located. Chosen plots are vinified separately before blending and long lees ageing in underground cellars, which brings forth the elegant and concentrated characters typical of this village and its elevated vineyards on the Côtes des Blancs slope. This shipment was disgorged in October 2018, giving the Champagne almost 5 ½ years to develop richness and complexity on its lees. Olivier considers this long secondary fermentation more essential for Chardonnay than the other Champagne grapes to allow the full expression of both variety and vintage. The inherent balance is evident with only a low dosage of 6g/l required.
Les Belles Voyes means “the beautiful path” – this is a signature cuvee of the house and a rare single vineyard Champagne. On the Grand Cru hillside of Oger and planted in 1960 this plot is the witness of the origins of the house. The grapes are always well ripened and pressed separately. French Oak casks are used for the vinification of this famous terroir and fifteen of them are selected to compose the blending of the Belles Voyes Cuvée. A long ageing time on the lees completes the vinification. This is a Champagne of distinct personality and incredible intensity – Olivier suggests the 2012 is for him to date the finest expression that he has produced. The Champagne is presented in a beautiful gift box.
The Extra Brut, like the Millesime is drawn from vineyard plots in Avize. This cuvée has been ageing for nearly 6 years in the cellars, this disgorgement in December 2018, and has only the smallest dosage at 2g/l. The Chardonnay is full and reflects perfectly the freshness, the minerality and all the characteristics of the chalky soil, an unfettered expression of Avize terroir.
Pur Avize is the ultimate expression of the terroir of this Grand Cru village. Chardonnay grapes from 3 plots are chosen to provide a balance of the characteristics produced by different soil types with more or less concentration of chalk. The cuvée is tiraged under natural cork sealed with a staple and then hand disgorged. Only 2500 bottles were produced from this vintage. The vineyard source is 3 plots in Avize – les Chapelles, les Maladries, les Avats, and these are highlighted in a map on the back label.
Pur Mesnil expresses the terroir of the hallowed Grand Cru village of Le Mesnil sur Oger. Chardonnay grapes from 3 plots are chosen to provide a balance of the characteristics produced by different soil types with more or less concentration of chalk. The cuvée is tiraged under natural cork sealed with a staple and then hand disgorged. Only 2500 bottles produced from this vintage. The vineyard source is 3 plots in Le Mesnil sur Oger – les Coullemets, le Tilleul (Champ la Truie), les Zallieux. This legendary village gives rise to some of the most hallowed and expensive Blanc de Blanc Champagnes available today
Champagne Franck Bonville’s origins lie in the Grand Cru village in Oger, in the early 20th Century Alfred Bonville purchased vineyards in the village and those surrounding on the condition he could reach the plot within one hour by horse. This laid the foundation for following generations. Two plots from Oger, les Rumigny and les Neyerots are selected to express the terroir of the village. Only 2500 bottles were produced from this vintage.
Please note that quantities of Les Belle Voyes, Extra Brut and the Pur Terroir series are extremely limited.
PERTH TASTING EVENT | June 27th 2019
Perth wine club members please join me at our new releases tasting event at Mayfair Lane. Explore our selection of Champagnes alongside our Burgundy new releases.
Reserve your place by booking online here.
Burch Family Wines is proud to be the exclusive Australian importers of Franck Bonville Champagne since 2010.