Benoit Marguet “Shaman 15” / Ambonnay, Champagne, France NV (2015)
Pinot Noir + Chardonnay
Born in Ambonnay to a five-generations-old estate, Benoit Marguet started out working in enology around his village, even working for the big boys at Mumm. He diversified his talents, working a stint in California as assistant to Paul Hobbs, and then as a sommelier in Paris, before deciding in 2004 to take on the challenge of farming his family estate. He converted the land to organic and biodynamic farming, and became so passionate for sustainable viticulture that he started experimenting with natural alternatives to sulfur-sprays and plowing and harvesting by horse. In this amorous pursuit of care-taking, he is also rumored to walk and talk to the vines, thanking them each for their contribution to the vintage. The cellar is just an extension of the soil for the Shaman, so much so that for energetic inspiration he has planted large stones and crystals throughout his winery. Spontaneous fermentation takes place in neutral barrels, with only gravity employed to move the wines. There is an undeniable magic in these wines, and we are so grateful to share in the mystery and toast to the Shaman’s potions.
Starfruit brightness counterweighted with an earthy walnut skin and toasted challah richness. A whole spectral array of snappy fruit, savory herbs and exotic minerality, almost like it is being reflected through a cosmically calculated crystal prism.
Fine Details: 67% Pinot Noir + 33 % Chardonnay from Grand Crus in Ambonnay and Bouzy. The wine is based on 2015 vintage, was sur latte for 36 months and disgorged April 2019 with no dosage added.