December 12, 2019

Champagne Colette Bonnet – when Grower Champagne is done well!

Champagne made with highest respect as well as the pursuit of the highest quality…..

Colette Bonnet

Vigneron Colette Bonnet is no stranger to growing grapes and making Champagne. She is simply continuing the family tradition. Initially she sold her grapes to other Champagne houses, however she has since transitioned smoothly to releasing her own ‘Grower’ Champagnes. Her organic vineyards in the Cote des Bars, around the commune of Noé-les-Mallets, started their official transition to Organic Certification in 2006. Her first certified organic wine was released in 2011. 

The traditional varieties of pinot noir and chardonnay can be found planted in her 2.24 hectares of vineyards. You will also find that mutation of pinot noir, pinot blanc planted there as well. This pinot blanc has been used to great effect in the 11/12 blend. In this blend, it gives an insight of the potential of this ‘full of flavour, soft on acid’ grape to take on more of a named role in the blend instead of always remaining the hidden workhorse.

Why should you be drinking organic Champagnes? Click here to find out….

Champagne Colette Bonnet

In support of the organic philosophy, the Champagnes of this house are made with care, not just respect. Therefore, they are all multi-faceted, bright and clean. The three wines are all at the ‘Extra Brut’ dosage level being between 3-4 g/L. This has the effect of leaving the ripeness of the fruit to tell its own story. 

Click here to see a video interview with Colette Bonnet discussing her organic vineyards, her family history and what makes the Cote des Bar so special.

Champagne Colette Bonnet

Champagne Colette Bonnet 13/14

This blend of 60% pinot noir & 40% chardonnay is all fruit from the 2013 vintage. This is a wine to sip and appreciate. The low dosage (3 g/L) showcases the complexity of the fruit here with a herbal edge to liven it up. The flavours are right there up front. The rich cream is abundant and the lemon, mandarin citrus zing not only has a herbal side, it has an eggshell minerality dimension as well.  It finishes fresh and crisp with that soft acid driving the flavours deep along the palate. A Champagne well suited to food.

Champagne Colette Bonnet 13/ 14 won a Gold award at the 2019 Glass of Bubbly Awards in London.

Champagne Colette Bonnet

Champagne Colette Bonnet 11/12

It is often forgotten that pinot blanc is among the grape varieties allowed to be blended into Champagne. This maybe the first, certainly the most memorable, pinot blanc dominant Champagne that I have tasted recently. The 11/12 blend has 53% pinot blanc with the remainder of the blend being pinot noir.  

This use of pinot blanc adds a more floral fullness to the blend . The intense nose takes on a toasted nut and biscuity character and those floral notes have a base of red apple. The palate has a strawberry nuance and is sweetly ripe although it finishes dry, with a low dosage (3 g/L). This is a pretty Champagne with a soft rounded and creamy mouthfeel. A good aperitif style, particularly with some appetisers or a light meal.

This wine also won a Gold award at the 2019 Glass of Bubbly Awards in London.

Champagne Colette Bonnet

Champagne Colette Bonnet Pinot Noir Extra Brut 2014

Here pinot noir takes on the limelight in a solo act. In keeping with Colette’s philosophy of letting the fruit ripeness speak for itself with a low dosage, this Champagne sits at Extra Brut. There is little to distract from the quality of the fruit and the winemaking. This is a ripe and lush blanc de noirs where the berry and orange citrus fruit is wrapped with lightly toasted almond and brioche richness and a mineral smokiness.

On the palate those citrus aromas take on orange peel brightness highlighting the minerally backbone. A backbone that keeps that fruit weight taut in the mouth. The whole combination is decidedly more-ish. Particularly when some delicious morsel, such as a brie and pear tartlet, is added to the mix.

Click here to see a video interview with Colette Bonnet discussing her organic vineyards, her family history and what makes the Cote des Bar so special.

Colette also offers accommodation in Éguilly-sous-Bois which I can personally recommend (please email [email protected] for details).

To read about other organic Champagnes, please click here & here ! And keep reading as there are more to come!

Note: This article was first published in June 2019 & updated on 12th December, 2019.


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