Benoit Marguet has 10 hectares of vineyards, all of which are now certified organic, and 8 of them are farmed biodynamically. His wines are distinctive, authentic and praiseworthy. He currently favours an Extra Brut style (0-6g/L of dosage) in his range, and he utilises little to no sulphur.
3 rue du Chateau, Ambonnay +33 3 26 53 78 61
Each cuvee is wonderfully individual. Benoit gives each one equal importance, and does not promote any particular ‘prestige cuvee’ of the house. Due to the biodynamic farming, there is a pronounced intensity to the aromas along with great depth and complexity of flavour.
Marguet Tradition Brut
A Blanc de Noirs. The proportion of Pinot Noir and Meunier varies, but is typically between 70-85% Pinot Noir and 15-30% Meunier. The grapes come mainly from Grand Cru vineyards in Ambonnay, with a small percentage from Premier Cru sites. Dosage is 6.5g/L.
Marguet Reserve Grand Cru NV
The varietal blend varies, but is approximately 50-60% Pinot Noir, 40-50% Chardonnay from Grand Cru vineyards. The wine is fermented in oak, aged for 3 years on the lees and blended with one-third reserve wines. The dosage is 6g/L.
Marguet Elements Extra Brut Grand Cru
This wine marks a new direction for Benoit. It is a non-vintage cuvee, but with a difference. Each release is named with a number indicating the base year. For example, the first release - Elements 10 - is blend comprised of two-thirds from the 2010 harvest, and one-third of reserve wines. The blend is around 65% Pinot Noir, and 35% Chardonnay, all from Grand Cru sites.
Marguet Grand Cru Rose NV
Around 70% Chardonnay from Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oger, and 30% Pinot Noir from Ambonnay and Bouzy. The Chardonnay is fermented in oak while the Pinot Noir is a blend of saignee rose and still red wine. Around 10% of reserve wines are used. Previously made in a Brut style, the dosage has more recently been reduced to produce an Extra Brut. Benoit has also made a vintage version of this wine in the same style.
Marguet Les Crayeres Extra Brut Grand Cru
A vintage Grand Cru wine, made from approximately 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir from the ‘Les Crayeres’ lieu dit in Ambonnay.
Marguet Les Bermonts Extra Brut Grand Cru
100% Chardonnay. This blanc de blancs is produced from a single-vineyard in Ambonnay, ‘Les Bermonts’. The vines were planted in the early 1950s.
Marguet Cuvee Maxime
A vintage blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Ambonnay. A special release in honour of Benoit’s son, born in 2000.
An interesting and truly collaborative champagne, made by Benoit working in partnership with consultant Herve Jestin (who worked as chef de cave for many years at Duval-Leroy). The wine includes organic fruit bought in from Laval and from David Leclapart. Approximately two-thirds Chardonnay, one-third Pinot Noir, this vintage wine was first produced in 2006. Dosage 3g/L.
As far back as 1870, Emile Marguet was growing vines in Champagne. By 1883, he had approximately 90 hectares in some of the best parcels in the Cote des Blancs and the Montagne de Reims. Emile was very forward-thinking and had started grafting his vines on American rootstocks in the hopes of avoiding the effects of phylloxera, which was spreading around Europe.
Unfortunately, grafting was illegal at the time, and the local authorities made him pull up his newly planted vines. Emile was forced to replant on non-grafted vines, which caused a great deal of financial hardship. He did not even get to experience the bittersweet taste of vindication when phylloxera finally arrived in the vineyards of Champagne in 1890.
During this time, the Marguet and Henriot families were united by marriage, and the Marguet vineyards were sold to Henriot following the financial hardship. Champagne Henriot-Marguet was produced for 30 years until Henriot dropped the Marguet name in the early 1900s.
Around the turn of the 20th century, the great-grandfather of the current owner of Marguet, Benoit Marguet-Bonnerave, once again established Marguet Pere et Fils. Simultaneously Bonnerave Freres was founded in 1905 by ancestors of Benoit’s mother.
Benoit’s parents launched Marguet-Bonnerave Champagne in 1971, which lasted until 2004 (the 2005 is the last available vintage), but they continued farming their land until 2007. Today Benoit is the sole owner and chef de cave of Marguet Pere et Fils.
In 2008 Benoit took over farming his family’s land, then consisting of 13.7 hectares, owned by his parents and seven other aunts and uncles. After a year he began converting 3 hectares of vines to biodynamic viticulture.
A few years later, in 2012, after the passing of his grandparents, five of Benoit’s aunts and uncles decided to sell 7 hectares of their land, of which Benoit purchased three.
Currently, Benoit farms 10 hectares, located in the Grand Cru villages of Ambonnay and Bouzy. All of them are certified organic, but the majority of his holdings - 8 hectares - are farmed biodynamically. Since 2010 he has used horses for ploughing, in an effort to favour the wellbeing of the soil.
The remaining 10% of his production comes from purchased grapes grown in vineyards that are certified organic, or in conversion, located in the Grand and Premier Cru villages of Verzy, Mareuil sur Ay, Cumieres and Rilly la Montagne.
In the cellar, the grapes are pressed on a Coquard press and the barrels are filled by gravity. All fermentations take place in small oak barrels or large wooden tanks. If malolactic fermentations occur naturally, they are left to continue, but are not induced. The wines stay ‘sur lie’ for 9 months and are bottled late – always after the summer solstice – and are very lightly filtered, if at all.
Benoit pays attention to the biodynamic lunar calendar for timing of certain procedures, including racking, blending, disgorging and bottling. Nowadays he favours an Extra Brut style, and very little or no sulphur is used.