Grower Champagne - Franck Bonville NV Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut

Tasting notes
Fresh, fruity with fine bubbles. Perfect as an aperitif or with canapés and seafood with subtle flavours.

Why we recommend this wine
This was the recommended wine at Les Berceaux a one star Michelin restaurant in Eperney (see our trip notes here) and pretty good it was too so we went round the next day to taste their range and were delighted to see that this came in half bottles. A key factor is also the low dosage, less than 7g/l.

The wine
This champagne is a blend of wines from 3 vintages, a very small proportion of which has been made in oak barrels. It is also a blend of chardonnay grapes from Bonville’s home village of Avize and its neighbor Oger. After bottling this champagne is aged for 2 to 2½ years before release for sale.

The wine estate
Franck Bonville makes what is referred to as Grower Champagne. In Champagne a large proportion of the vineyards are family owned and worked. Traditionally they have sold their grapes to the Champagne “Houses” who then make the champagne. But an increasing number of families who own the better vineyards have gone into making their champagne. Hence the term Grower Champagne.
Bonville, a third generation champagne maker, is based in the village of Avize on the Côte des Blancs area of Champagne. Their approach is an “environmentally respectful form of viticulture, a meticulous wine-making process, and a long ageing process”.

Food and wine
Champagne is better if it has been opened and allowed to breathe for 20 to 30 minutes before drinking. We didn’t believe it when we were first advised to do this but it really works. Just open the bottle and leave it in the fridge; it will not lose its bubbles but will taste much better.
This champagne has light subtle flavours with good acidity so will match food that is light with subtle flavours. Also see our guide to pairing food and wine here.

Did you know?
Only chardonnay grapes are grown on the Côte des Blancs area in Champagne. Champagnes made only from chardonnay are called Blanc de Blancs.