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It may just be me but most of my favorite things in life are generally attainable. My favorite foods are foods that I can eat from time to time, my favorite cocktail is one that I can actually order at any self respecting bar. All this is to say that Selosse may be exquisite, but my favorite Champagne is Marguet. Though I am by no means an expert, and I have admittedly not been able to try every grower Champagne out there, I have been exposed to a vast amount of them over the past 12 years since I started paying attention, and to me the Champanges of Benoit Marguet have always stood out. There is a subtle creaminess on the palate, framed by precise acidity and complimented by a long, mineral finish. I have wondered how he attained such fantastic richness with the wines and was sure it was a question of batonnage, but I've asked Benoit and he doesn't practice batonnage, just barrel fermentation and long lees aging, which seem to clearly open up the wines and give them density and a very delicate oxidation. Still I don't think of Marguet's as an oxidative style; Laval will always be the reference point for me for that style, while Marguet is my reference for density and precision.
The domaine, Marguet Père et Fils, dates back to the 19th century, and Benoit's mother’s side of the family, the Bonneraves, began producing estate bottled Champagne in the early 20th century. Since taking over the family domain in 2005, Benoit has been an avid proponent of biodynamics, much to the shock and dismay of his father and others in the region. Often this is the story when a younger gerneration takes over and proposes these types of changes to the farming and winemaking philosophy, but without fail, the older generation eventually comes around when the biodiversity begins to return to the vineyards, and when the wines start to express levels of complexity and quality that are undeniably improved. Benoit did not just turn to biodynamics to improve the soil and the wines, however. When you meet him, you quickly get the sense that Benoit believes embracing biodynamics inmproves his life and the farming and the wines follow suit. He is a true believer in the power of biodynamics to change not only wine, but the vineyard and life for the better and is passionate about the relationship between the vignerons, the vines, and their wines. His vineyards are plowed by horse, fermentation is with native yeasts, his wines see little to no sulfur, and his viticulture shows clearly in the finished wines.
In Angers, France this past February (where the picture of myself and Benoit was taken), a colleague in the industry turned to me after tasting with Benoit, with a look of wonder and amazement. "Have you tried these wines?" she asked, almost out of breath from excitement. I replied: "Of course! Marguet is the best!" Later I realized that there are likely many people out there who are unfamiliar with these fantastic Champagnes, so I knew I had some proselytizing to do! While I am limited financially when it comes to Champagne consumption, when I do choose to indulge, I am never disappointed with a bottle from Benoit Marguet. Over the years I keep finding myself coming back to these wines, and we're pretty sure you will too once you try them!
All Marguet Champagnes are no dosage, but are not labelled Brut Nature.
Please allow 4-5 days for delivery / shipment
Yuman is a newer project of Benoit's,utlizing organic/biodynamic fruit from two producer friends in Champagne. It is not an estate wine, but is treated just like his other cuvées, seeing a natural fermentation in barrel, and aging on the lees. Grapes here are from Premier Cru vineyards around the Montagne de Reims, and this bottling (the '19 base) is 100% Chardonnay.
The 'Shaman' is a wonderful introduction to the Champagnes of Benoit Marguet. Grapes for the cuvée come from Grand Cru sites of Ambonnay and Bouzy, fermentation is in barrel, with long lees aging, yielding a wine with richness and opulence. Thanks to Benoit's Biodynamic farming and hard work in the vineyards, there is always an interplay between the creamy mouthfeel and long mineral finish. Notes of preserved lemon and powdered ginger...delish! 87% Pinot Noir and 13% Chardonnay in this release.
The savory and scintillating Shaman Rosé is 77% Chardonnay and 23% Pinot Noir in 2019. Disgorged in September 2022, with zero dosage and total SO2 of 16mg/l (c'est naturel!). The wine has a pale salmon pink hue. The nose offers aromas of balsam, red fruits, spices, and crushed herbs. This is broader on palate with density and balance and chiseled mineral finish. Benoit does it again! We would drink this every day if we could.
Marguet's Vertus 2017 is a Blanc de Blancs Champagne from the Premier Cru village of Vertus. This rich, Chardonnay-based Champagne displays the precision of the chalky soils and the rich broadness of the clay. Long lees-aging and the terroir result in broad, elegantly textured wines with a deep, earthy undercurrent.
While we love biodynamic grower Benoît Marguet's Champagnes for their combination of Ambonnay power and frank minerality, it may be that his most pleasurable wine is his excellent vintage-dated rosé. Chardonnay dominated in a village noted for its Pinot Noir, the wine offers a beautiful nose highlighted by aromas of wild strawberry, raspberry seed, tarragon, and chalk. The palate is brightly mineral and structured, with a deep stoniness at its core within its layers of ripe red fruits and savory notes. The wine balances deftly its grand cru power with a lacy bead, vibrant acidity, and achingly pretty florality. This is natural Champagne and an absolute joy to drink. John McIlwain // 80 Chardonnay / 20 Pinot Noir, Disgorged March 2022.
The 2019 Coteaux Champenois Ambonnay Blanc is a truly delicious white wine. The fruit is from the legendary Crayeres and Beurys parcels in Ambonnay, and the wine is aged for 18 months on the lees, with no batonnage. Creamy, direct and mineral, the palate is concentrated, and bees-waxy with pretty stone fruit and orange oil flavors with an intense chalkiness at its core. I don't usually recommend Coteaux Champenois wines because Burgundies are already expensive enough, but this is a memorable wine and highly recommended for any fan of White Burgundy, and of course all fans of Coteaux Champenois wines! -EL
From the Grand Cru Bouzy vineyard, this is a direct press Coteaux Champenois Blanc de Noirs of Pinot Noir. Very light in color, with the faintest peach hue, there are notes of coconut and preserved lemon, and mineral cut in the finish. I was eagerly anticipating tasting Benoit's Champagnes when he poured me this at a recent tasting, and I was taken aback! A beautiful, finessed Blanc de Noir with impeccable length. -EL