Blanc de Blancs Brut Grand Cru Champagne Franck Bonville NV

Grapes Chardonnay
Colour White
Origin France, Champagne
Classification Grand Cru
ABV 12.5%

Fruit from Avize. 100% Chardonnay. Blend of 2017 and 2018. The 2017 was cool and rainy, 2018 was sunny but produced a huge crop so the wines could be a bit dilute, so they balance each other out in the blend. Stainless-steel fermentation. Disgorged March 2023. Dosage 5 g/l. A little richer than the Blanc de Blancs NV but meticulous, thanks to the pinpoint precision of the acidity. Baked apples and pears enveloped in cream and a frame stitched with liquorice thread, green cardamom and a hint of melba toast. Long, sweet-lime finish. Vibrant. Full of heart. Drinking range: 2024 - 2029 Rating: 17 Tamlyn Currin - www.JancisRobinson.com (May 2024)

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100% Chardonnay from Avize and Oger. Stainless steel and 100% malo. 4.5 years sur lattes. Dosage 6.2 g/l.
Lemon pie, apple pie. But then marvellous acidity. Like a thousand tiny, tiny cuboids in the mouth. Baked apple, golden fresh apple skin, touch of papaya and papaya seed, crunchy pear. There is both complexity and charm in this full-bodied but well-defined wine, finishing on a note of floral spice.
Drinking range: 2023 - 2028 Rating: 17 Tamlyn Currin - www.JancisRobinson.com (Jun 2023)

Unisson - a name intended to convey a bringing-together of the estate's best parcels of old vines, of the vintage wines brought together in the blend, of the freshness of its Côte des Blancs chalky origins combined with the generosity of the development of the wine on the lees in the ageing process. It's a sophisticated wine which in some ways best represents the Bonville style. Quite a deep yellow-gold, and much richer than the 'Blanc de Blancs' although it is also all Chardonnay, of course. All in energy and purity despite its generosity, and this is emphasised on the long saline finish.L&S (May 2022)

Chardonnay from Avize; 2017 base vintage with 2016 reserves; disgorged October 2022; 6.7g/L dosage; aged 55 months on lees; cork.

The crystalline precision and energy of Avize are something to behold, well presented within a style of pristine fruit ripeness. Upholding a pale, bright straw hue even after close to five years on lees, there’s a purity here of all the expected white fruits – lemon, grapefruit, peach and pear. The glittering chalk mineral fanfare that elevates this fabled cru outlines a finish of brilliance and persistence.

Quintessential Avize and benchmark Bonville. Prestige NV was long one of Bonville’s best cuvées, and Unisson appears to replace it, losing nothing of its excellence.

Tasted in 2022
Rating: 94 Tyson Stelzer - The Champagne Guide (Jul 2024)

Champagne Franck Bonville

Domaine Franck Bonville has around 15 hectares of vines in 77 parcels of vines spread across three Grand Cru Côte des Blancs villages, Avize (9ha), Oger (4.5ha) and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger (.5ha). Already certified Haute Valeur Environmentale, the vineyards are gradually being converted to fully organic viticulture.

The origins of the domaine go back to Alfred Bonville, who from around 1900 bought up parcels of land in the years following phylloxera, always within reach by horse of his home in Oger. Despite the wars he continued to invest after the birth of his son Franck, and in 1937 they bought a house in Avize complete with press and barrel cellar. From the end of the war, Franck began to sell Champagnes under his own name.

Franck's son Gilles and his wife Ingrid continued the work, replacing the old casks with stainless steel for a more precise vinification. Their son Olivier trained as an oenologist and joined the domaine in 1996 after working in Germany and Corsica. Olivier has focused his attention on sustainable viticulture and purity of expression, so that the wines offer 'the aromatic complexity and elegance of Chardonnay', as well as 'the authenticity of the Cote des Blancs terroir and the minerality of the chalky sub-soil'. All the wines go through malolactic fermentation, and apart from the barrel-aged Belles Voyes cuvée, all are made in stainless steel.

Now joined by his son-in-law, Ferdinand Ruelle-Dudel, Olivier is free to concentrate on the vineyards and wine-making, and this estate, which has been on an upward quality trajectory for some years, is rapidly becoming one of the reference points of the Côte des Blancs.

This wine isn't currently part of a mixed case, but you can always browse our full selection of mixed cases here.
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