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The vineyards of Champagne Ponson lie on the premier crus of the "Little Mountain" of Reims. The land consists of clay-limestone soils with a greater or lesser depth depending on the altitude, making this hillside an ideal place for all of the Champenois varietals. With an environmentally friendly approach to viticulture, Ponson vineyards are entirely herbicide and pesticide free and every hectare is worked with a plow. The goal is to give life to the soils, “so that they will share their secrets through the wine”.
Seven years after the Ponsons began plowing and stopped using chemical herbicides and pesticides, birds came back to feed in the vineyards that were once again full of earthworms and other soil life. The soils are now naturally rich and no longer need fertilizers. The grass cover has decreased yields to give grapes with more concentration and thus more flavor.
To emphasize the natural flavor of these grapes, minimal intervention happens in the winery and primary fermentation occurs with native yeasts. The goal of Champagne Ponson is to tell you the story of the Earth.
Maxime Ponson has created a new cuvée called “La Petite Montagne” which is a blend of all three varietals from several of his favorite parcels along this northern slope of the Montagne de Reims.
Below, the 2011 base review from Gilman.
Ponson “la Petite Montagne” Extra Brut NV (Coulommes la Montagne) Disg: Jan. 2016
The new release of “la Petite Montagne” non-vintage Extra Brut bottling from Maxime Ponson is composed of a blend of thirty-two percent chardonnay, forty-five percent pinot meunier and twenty-three percent pinot noir. It is from the base year of 2011 and spent four years aging sur latte prior to being finished with a dosage of four grams per liter. The wine is fermented solely with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel, with the vins clairs going through full malo, though future releases will also incorporate a bit of barrel fermentation into the cellar regimen. The bouquet on the current release is quite stylish, wafting from the glass in a mix of white peach, patissière, lovely soil tones, a bit of smokiness and a topnote of meunier floral tones. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and very well-balanced, with a good core, bright acids, refined mousse and very good length and grip on the focused finish. This is good juice and augurs very well for future developments here. 2017-2030+. 91.