NV Dhondt-Grellet Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru "Cramant", Extra-Brut, Champagne, France


It has a lovely perfume with soft florality almond croissant ripe green apple and lemon curd. The palate is vibrant crystalline and pure and it is long on the palate but weightless with a fine chalky texture. This is pure elegance with a classic appeal that is hard to resist now although it will continue to improve over the next two decades.

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100% Cramant Grand Cru Chardonnay. It is vinified in stainless steel tank. Dosage is between 3g/l to 4g/l. Adrien plans on vinifying this cuvée in barrel in the near future.

Made of two lieux-dits that bring different perspectives of the village :
Les Longues Verges - early ripening site that produces deep, concentrated wines
La Garenne - was historically a garden in the village with atypical sandy soils in the heart of the village


In 1986, Eric Dhondt and Edith Grellet decided to stop selling off grapes to negociants and started Dhondt-Grellet. Their focus on farming translated into honest Champagnes from great holdings across the Côte des Blancs.

Their son, Adrien, now in his 20s, has taken over the winemaking and is quickly bringing his family's wines to another level. He has slowly increased the range of Champagnes produced by isolating their holdings across the villages of Cramant and Cuis and bottling pure expressions of Chardonnay. We couldn’t be more excited about the direction of this young domaine.

The Dhondt family have worked with a perpetual reserve since they began estate bottling in 1986. After drawing off 30% of his reserves for the new year’s tirage, Adrien replenishes the loss with wine kept back from the new vintage and racks the resulting blend to barrel—accompanied by the fresh lees of the latest vintage—in May. Come harvest time, when empty barrels are needed, the perpetual reserve is returned to tank. Each year, the process is repeated, ensuring the domaine’s barrels are never empty.

Adrien uses organic & biodynamic practices but he is not seeking certification, preferring to work in the spirit of what he calls “peasant viticulture,” using no synthetic products, no herbicides or insecticides, enriching his soils with homemade compost and, as of Spring 2021, plowing each plot with his horse, Thor. His philosophy is to have a living soil with a healthy balance between microbial life and the vine. In the vines, there’s a lot of manual work: he prunes short and debuds severely to limit yields and produce ripe, concentrated fruit at harvest time. He often cites inspiration from great Burgundy estates by practicing plot selection.

In the cellar, Dhondt has moved almost completely to barrel fermentation with ambient yeasts, filling his fûts after a very short six hours’ settling (or débourbage) and adding minimal sulfur dioxide. The vins clairs spend eight months on the lees before tirage without cold stabilization, filtering or fining. During those eight months of élevage, the wines are topped up when Dhondt deems it is appropriate judicious, “about every month and a half, I’d say, but I decide whether to top up—and whether to perform bâtonnage—by tasting.”

As of 2020 Adrien is now uses almost exclusively oak barrels for his wines with the exception of the Dans Un Premier Temps, where he uses a combination of barrel and inox.

Again the influence of Burgundy is evident in the texture and vinosity - Adrien cites Coche-Dury, Vincent Dancer and Jean-Yves Bizot among his inspirations


Grape(s) Chardonnay
Farming Biodynamic