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And it came to pass: the enchantment of Champagne Marguet

When one thinks about the region of Champagne and its wines, perhaps more often than not it’s the big names (Grande Marques) that come to mind, with hundreds of thousands (and in some cases, millions) of bottles shipped across the globe and available the year round. There is another school of producers, like Benoît Marguet, who have less ceremoniously carved out a very significant place in Champagne. Certified biodynamic and organic, with minimal sulphur and zero sugar added, Marguet’s champagne is quite simply a gamechanger.

Dear Reader,

And it came to pass, in the mid-1800s, Champagne Marguet owned 90 hectares of vines. In 1883, with the threat of phylloxera looming ever closer, Émile Marguet made the call to graft all of his vines onto American rootstocks. Phylloxera only arrived in Champagne in 1890 and in the time between, rather than being praised for his cautionary tactics, Émile was ridiculed and marginalised to such an extent that he pulled all vines out and replanted, again. This ruined Champagne Marguet and vineyards were subsequently sold off.

With what vineyard holdings the family retained, it was Benoît’s parents who in the 1970s established the Marguet-Bonnerave estate and a négociant label named Charles Marguet shortly after. Enter centre stage in 1999 when Benoît first began making wine for both operations. In 2005, be took full control of the négociant arm which was renamed Marguet Père et Fils. In 2008, Benoît bought vineyard holdings directly from his parents to dedicate towards production of his own wine. To date, purchased fruit continues to account for about 15 percent of his production, and since 2011, all purchased fruit comes from vineyards that are either certified organic or in the process of conversion.

Since 2009, Benoît has been experimenting with ploughing by horse, and he now owns two horses that are capable of working all ten hectares under vine.

“Like the man himself, Marguet’s wines are outgoing, friendly and forthright, yet they conceal a depth and expression that is clearly the product of careful thought and insightful vision. With his conscientious and ever-inquisitive methodology in both the vineyards and the cellars, Marguet is on his way to becoming one of the finest producers in the Montagne de Reims.”
Peter Liem, Champagne Guide

In the cellar, all of the wines are fermented in oak barrels and always go through malolactic fermentation. All work done in the cellar is with respect to the lunar calendar, including racking, bottling and disgorgement. Benoît has also adopted a stance of zero added sulphur which he has been able to incorporate in something like 80% of his production.

These champagnes make for some of the purest and most transparent examples on the market. When one goes this route in champagne, there is absolutely nowhere to hide and one needs to be absolutely sure of the quality of the base wine you are working with. These champagnes are bone-dry and demonstrate the utmost precision.

Benoît farms a total of ten hectares of vines, 8.5 of which are owned by him and his parents and the remaining 1.5 hectares are leased plots from his other family members. The majority of the plots are located in Ambonnay, two hectares are in Bouzy. Benoît has eight different single vineyard plots and four of these he currently bottles as single lieu dit wines and all of which are from Ambonnay. The Shaman cuvées show a vintage on the label and this is representative of the base vintage, blended with reserve wine from a solera system started in 2010.

Marguet Cuvée Shaman 6-bottle case
R 4,500

Marguet Père et Fils | Cuvée Shaman Brut Nature | 17 | 3 x bottles
Marguet Père et Fils | Cuvée Shaman Brut Nature Rosé | 18 | 3 x bottles

*Price is per 6-bottle mixed case and incl. VAT

The Cuvée Shaman Brut Nature 17 is a blend of 69% Pinot noir and 31% Chardonnay. The wine was bottled to undergo the second fermentation on 17 July 2018 and was disgorged in July 2021. There are just 23 mg of sulphur per litre present in the wine.

The Cuvée Shaman Brut Nature Rosé 18 is a blend of 68% Chardonnay and 32% Pinot noir. The wine was bottled to undergo the second fermentation on 12 July 2019 and was disgorged in May 2021. There are just 17 mg of sulphur per litre present in the wine.

Both wines are bone dry. There is zero sugar (dosage) added. This is artisanal, intuitive winemaking at its finest. We hope you enjoy these wines as much as we do.