“Snap, crackle, pop, champagne!” That’s what my husband says every time we pop open a bottle of bubbly, which lets me know it’s going to be a good time. We recently closed on our first home, which is a good reason to pop open a bottle of Champagne (but, really, do I need a good reason?) Our bottle for the occasion was Franck Bonville Champagne Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut Millésimé 2010.
The Bonville Champagne House has gone through four generations of winegrowers and the family estate specializes in Blanc de Blancs Champagne from the Grand Cru terroir of Avize. The estate is located in an area predominantly planted with Chardonnay, the only white grape variety in Champagne, and covers 2,500 hectares of chalky soils.
It’s a long story, but it started in 1900 when Alfred Bonville purchased plots of land in vineyards that had been destroyed by phylloxera (a pest to grapes). In 1937, after the birth of his son Franck Bonville, Alfred bought a wine grower’s house in the center of the village of Avize, which had a wine press, oak casks, and a 19th-century cellar, so he got to work! In 1945, after World War II, the estate started to commercialize cuvées in Franck’s name and continued to enlarge the estate. In 1970, Gilles and Ingrid Bonville revolutionized the vineyard’s technology to bring more precision and efficiency to winemaking. In 1996, Olivier Bonville continued the family legacy after receiving a National Diploma of Oenology and gaining experience in Corsica and Germany. Today, the vineyard works to cultivate their grapes in the most environmentally conscious ways possible.
The 2010 winter was particularly cold and the spring was very cool and dry. In continuity, the month of July, rather dry, preceded a more classic August. All these singularities gave the wine its expressive and concentrated character. The wine is light yellow in color and has a strong, fresh aroma. It has fine, effervescent bubbles which tickle the palate. It has notes of honey, apple, minerals, and yeast. It’s nicely balanced with the right amount of dryness and crisp acidity – it feels nice in your mouth (that’s what she said). It should be enjoyed by 2021. I found it at Total Wine for $65, but couldn’t find it on the website. I found this one instead. 4.5/5. Cheers!