On a recent trip to France with my family, we decided to make a detour to Champagne. We only spent half day there but it was enough time to visit one of my favorite producers, Bonnaire
. Located in the Grand Cru village Cramant in the Cote the Blanc, they make excellent Chardonnay champagne. Monsieur Bonnaire is also the winemaker of another label, Paul Clouet (Bouzy) which is owned by his wife.
Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru NV
A nice golden color, very fresh with notes of lemon and mineral on the nose. The same goes for the palate, rich with good acidity and honey in the aftertaste. Perhaps it lacks some complexity but very enjoyable. One of my favorite NV Blanc be Blancs.
2000 Bonnaire Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut Grand Cru
This was disappointing, lacks...well almost everything but acidity. Green apples on nose and palate, very little fruit.
2002 Bonnaire Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut Grand Cru
Much better than the previous, creamy texture lemon and sweet apples on palate. But of course very young, needs a few years in the cellar.
1999 Bonnaire Champagne Cuvée Prestige
Grapes from the best lots of Mr Bonnaires vineyards in Cramant. Tropical fruit, some yeast and almost sweet passion fruit on the nose, very creamy on palate. Well balanced with good acidity. Already an excellent wine and a couple of years in the cellar will certainly improve it.
Bonnaire Champagne Variance Blanc de Blancs Brut Grand Cru
1/3 of this wine is fermented in old oak barrels. The style and structure are similar to the Blanc de Blancs N.V but of course the oak shows. Not much though, only some oak and vanilla is there. Seems very young, previous experience tells me this will improve with storing.