Marguet Champagne Shaman 17

Marguet Champagne Shaman 17

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Wine Type
Pinot Noir

The Marguet family has an old and colorful history in Champagne: they were producing champagne as long ago as 1850, owning a whopping 90 hectares of vines, and in 1883, Émile Marguet was one of the first growers to graft his vines onto American rootstocks in the face of the impending invasion of phylloxera. Unfortunately, this caused him to be so widely ridiculed and condemned by his peers in Champagne that he was eventually forced to pull the vines back out. Bankrupt from this whole operation, he sold his magnificent collection of vineyards to Champagne Henriot, and at the end of the 19th century, there were actually bottles labeled Henriot-Marguet.

Today, Benoît Marguet traces his winegrowing ancestry back to Émile Marguet through his father's family, while on his mother's side, the Bonnerave family has been producing estate-bottled champagne since 1905. In 1973, his parents created the estate of Marguet-Bonnerave, and in 1991 his father created an additional négociant label called Charles Marguet, which was later renamed Marguet Père et Fils. Benoît had been making both the Marguet-Bonnerave and Marguet Père et Fils wines since 1999, and formally took over Marguet Père et Fils in 2005.

Initially, his family's vines all belonged to Marguet-Bonnerave, and Marguet had to purchase all of his fruit for Marguet Père et Fils, sourcing primarily from premier and grand cru villages, and paying a premium for organically grown grapes, for which he has a strong preference.

In the cellar, all of the wines are fermented in oak barrels, which Marguet prefers for the additional complexity that barrel-fermentation brings, but also because using wood makes him feel closer to nature than working with the cold impersonality of steel tanks does. His wines always go through malolactic ("If you're stopping the malo, you're interfering with the wine's evolution," he says), and all of his cellar work is done with respect to the lunar calendar, including racking, bottling, and disgorgement. He is also gradually working more and more without sulfur, as he believes that sulfites are indigestible and that they impart adverse energy to the wine—in the 2012 harvest, for example, 80 percent of the production was vinified sans soufre.

Since 2006, Marguet has been working with Hervé Jestin, the former chef de cave of Duval-Leroy who is now a consultant to many wine estates around Europe. Marguet has gradually integrated Jestin’s homeopathic and biodynamic practices into his own winemaking, and the two of them have collaborated to create a special, naturally grown champagne that encapsulates and expresses Jestin’s philosophies. The first vintage of this super-cuvée was in 2006, released in 2013, and the production was divided: half of it was sold under the Jestin label, with the other half under the label Sapience, which Marguet has indicated is a separate brand from the Marguet label.