First Growths

Penet-Chardonnet & The Alchemists Imports

Join us on Thursday, June 17th, at 3 PM PT/6 PM ET with special guests and long-time friends Chris Nicola and Garth Hodgdon from The Alchemists Imports as we taste some of the best undiscovered Grand Cru Champagnes from a unique portfolio of artisanal, organic, and biodynamic producers that Chris and Garth have cultivated.

The Penet-Chardonnet Champagnes represent some of the finest examples of terroir driven, low dosage Champagnes in the entirety of the Montagne de Reims (Egly-Ouriet, Ruinart, Savart). They feature complex, rich, round textures and the finesse of mineral and salinity notes, all coming from two of the finest Grand Cru Villages.

Penet-Chardonnet TerroirEscence GC

100% Grand Cru | 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay | 8000 bottles produced

Penet-Chardonnet TerroirEscence Rosé GC

100% Grand Cru | 64% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay | 3,000 bottles produced

Penet-Chardonnet Les Fervins

100% Grand Cru | 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay | 5,000 bottles produced | 2009 vintage

Chris Nicola and Garth Hodgdon met at a Champagne tasting in 2014. At that time, Chris was working for Apple Inc. and Garth was Krug's US Ambassador. Naturally, their mutual love of Champagne resulted in a wonderful friendship spanning across years of experiencing food, wine, travel, and, of course, unique and unforgettable Champagnes.

Today, their vast experience and knowledge have merged into a great team of professionals working hard to meticulously curate a portfolio of some of the very best Champagne producers on the planet. Their mission, rooted since the beginning, is to bring unique and undiscovered producers to the forefront of the industry, one relationship at a time.

Check out the featured wines below (while supplies last, quantities limited) and register for your free viewers' seat!

Click here to snag your FREE viewer seat!

About Penet-Chardonnet

The Chardonnet family has lived in the village of Verzenay for over 400 years, and the Penet's have been in Verzy almost as long. Alexandre Penet, having taken over from his parents, is the current member of these families carrying on in the long line of winemaking tradition. Alexandre holds an MBA in engineering from the University of Chicago and an Enology degree from the University of Reims.

Every aspect of his 6 hectares of vines spread over 30 plots in the Grand Cru villages of Verzy and Verzenay. He worked closely with the CIVC and the University of Reims to understand the unique geology of each plot. The diversity found in his various terroirs led to the decision to vinify each separately, allowing each plot to show its unique expressions.

Of his six hectares, five are in Verzy, and one is in Verzenay and is planted to two-thirds Pinot Noir, with the remainder being Chardonnay. The average vine age is over 30-years-old. Farming takes many different forms depending on the needs of each individual vineyard. The goal is always to work as ecologically and sustainably as possible. Most of the estate's vineyards are farmed organically, while others are tended to the needs of their specific site. Alexandre's approach is to "leverage the terroir" to achieve the best from his land.

When you visit the cellar, you will see the state-of-the-art PAI press as well as a multitude of different fermentation vessels. Since 2009 Alexandre has been fermenting about half of each years, harvest in various oak barrels as small as 228L and as large as 600L. The other half is fermented in stainless steel and enamel-lined steel tanks. Malolactic is never carried out for any of the wines, and he notes that this 'suits his specific terroir very well and allows for the wine to retain its freshness and complexity.' The tradition of blocking ML goes back to his father and grandfather and aids in the tremendous potential for aging. No fining or filtering is ever carried out, nor is any artificial cold stabilization.

Featured Wines:

Penet Chardonnet Extra Brut TerroirEscence Grand Cru NV
Penet Chardonnet Extra Brut TerroirEscence Rose NV
Penet Chardonnet Extra Brut Les Fervins NV

The virtual tasting will be held on Zoom. The link will be sent the day of via email.

Raid Y(our) Cellar Home

Benchmark Wine Group

445 Devlin Road
Napa, CA 94558

Phone: 707.255.3500
Fax: 707.255.3503
SMS: 707.200.4049


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