Please welcome the incredible Paul Girard and his Champagne Girard-Bonnet to Australia. We are extremely excited to be welcoming a new Champagne producer into our portfolio, providing you with the taste of yet another sub-region, the Côte de Blancs.
I have for you today his flagship cuvee, A Mi-Chemin, from two different base vintages. This Chardonnay Grand Cru has been perfected over the years so please enjoy a few bottles of Paul Girard's finest.
About Champagne Girard Bonnet
Born in 1995, Paul Girard grew up among the vines and travelled around France studying viticulture and enology in Avize, then a double master’s degree of Wine Management and Business in Bordeaux. In 2018 he returned home and connected his father, Philippe Girard’s holdings in Les Mesnil, and his mother, Dominique Bonnet’s holdings in Oger. Now he hosts an unstoppable twelve hectares of vineyard split evenly between Oger and Les Mesnil, two revered Chardonnay Grand Crus.
Paul Girard’s parents come from two strong winegrowing families, both established for decades. Philippe Girard of the Girard estate, a cooperative grower from Mesnil sur Oger, took over the family holdings in the late 20th century and continued the family trade. Dominique Bonnet was of the Bonnet estate, who were grower/makers from Oger who produced approximately 140,000 bottles in the 1980s under the name of Champagne F. Bonnet Père et Fils.
Unfortunately, the Bonnet estate was extinguished in 1988 and the vineyards were leased. The expiration of the lease allowed Paul Girard to merge the two vineyards and embark on the adventure of creating a grower-maker brand in honour of his origins. And so, Champagne Girard-Bonnet was born.
Under Philippe Girard’s directive, the use of herbicides was phased out as from the 2000s. The estate then took an individualised approach to its vines, as each one requires specific care so that it can reveal its characteristics depending on its age, location and exposure.
Paul Girard has now converted the vineyards to organic and biodynamic winegrowing to showcase his practices, the vineyard will be certified in 2023. He is passionate about the use of plants in their various forms, including herbal teas, essential oils, green manure and eco-pasture. As diverse as they are, all these natural approaches converge towards his main goal – developing the vines to their full potential.
Paul begun a reserve wine several years ago, with the perpetual cuvee held in large concrete tanks. The perpetual is entirely from Les Mesnil (La Côte and Les Chétillons) with the first bottling done in 2019.
A MI-CHEMIN GRAND CRU NV
The NV Extra-Brut Blanc de Blancs A Mi-Chemin is fabulous. Bright, energetic and wonderfully finessed, the A Mi-Chemin impresses with its fine overall balance. Crushed rocks, spice, dried flowers, herbs and citrus oil infuse the A Mi-Chemin with tons of nuance as well as complexity. I admire the transparent energy and precision here. Best of all, this should be a terrific value.
92 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous.