Pierre Gimonnet & Fils is reasonably well known recoltant house based in Cuis, Champagne, some 6km south of Epernay.
While the family has had its roots in growing grapes since around 1750, the wine making side of Gimonnet was founded in 1935 by Pierre himself. The modern house escalated from 1955 under the passionate watch of his son Michel, who passed on in 2008. Today it is maintained (also passionately) by his sons Didier and Olivier.
The house’s mastery lies completely in Chardonnay (they almost only make Blanc de blancs), and they own 28 hectares of it throughout the entire region. Each wine is a precision blend of the differing chardonnay flavours acquired from each parcel of land – with variations created by soils, climate & aspect.
Gimonnet are a small house that will typically only make wines when a good growing season allows. Once all of the prestige vintage wines are made, the remaining reserves will then be focused on to make around three entry level blends.
The first blend is done meticulously – and the best reserves are prioritised to this wine to ensure an amazing quality product. Part of what is left is then blended again into a second tier wine, which is still of reasonable quality. Then the last reserves are blended to make Selection Belles Années (Selection from Beautiful Years) – which becomes the entry level offering.
That’s not to say that because this wine is made from the dregs it is not of good quality – anyone who has had a Gimonnet before will know their labour of love that goes across growing and wine making – and this shows in the reserves.
There is the caveat however, of this wine having been around for a few years now – possibly 3 or more so years longer than it should have been given its a NV. You can still find the occasional bottle with some luck.
But enough speculating – let’s take the plunge into giving this a try!
From: Cuis, Champagne, France
Cost & Source: $58 a bottle available from Vintage Cellars and other specialised wine merchants
Blend Ratio (%): Pinot Noir/Chardonnay/Pinot Meunier (0/100/0) with 8 g/l dosage.
Aging: 3 years
Sipped: November 2017
In the Glass:
Look: A nice mid golden hue. Very nice fine and strong bead.
Smell: PG Belle Années Brut has a nice yeasty nose, with soft lemon notes coming through.
Taste: PG Belle Années starts of nice and sweet on the foam before transitioning to dry with a tolerable but tight sour note. This is familiar with grapefruit tang.
Acid is clean and not overly acidic – this is a drinkable wine although it lacks depth in flavour and the yeast aroma’s don’t really translate into anything like honeyed sweetness – more so a fungal, bruised fruit finish.
Drinakable but not awesome – and in all likelihood a bit past its best.
Party Potential: Much, much too rare to find in decent numbers for parties – however with a new distributor there is every chance newer Gimonnets will be hitting stores soon (I’ve seen a few new vintages about) so it may pay to keep your eyes peeled – particularly if they come in less than a Moet. A bottle of PG is a great tasting offering to your next quiet BYO.
As a Gift: Recoltant wines are good gifts for wine aficionados or anyone who is a bit adventurous.
At Home: Given the price tag – I was happy to crack open this one at home after putting up the Xmas tree.
Score & Verdict:
Family oriented and grounded, with humble origins and none of the pizazz and fame of others about town. However they are overshadowed by their slightly more glitzy sibling – which I think makes a better case for you 😉
At $58 I feel it is just average value for the quality.
How did I drink it?
Celebrate putting up the 2017 Xmas tree!
How did you drink it?
And how did you find it? Let me know!
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