Champagne Pierre Gimonnet & Fils
“Readers who enjoy taut, focused Blanc de Blancs will find much to admire….Best of all, many wines in this lineup offer superb value too…”
This Article Contains
Currently run by Olivier and Didier Gimonnet, who have carried on the legacy of their father Michel and grandfather Pierre.
(1987 from left to right: Didier, Michel, Pierre and Olivier)
Laser beams of acidity, lemon head vibrancy, chalky mineral texture, often from old to very-old vines.
(By Archimatth - File:Vignobles_France.svg, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37093378)
Côte des Blancs
- Cuis, 1er Cru
- Oiry, Grand Cru
- Cramant, Grand Cru
- Chouilly, Grand Cru
- Oger, Grand Cru
- Vertus, 1er Cru
- Maureil-sur-Aÿ, 1er Cru
- Aÿ, Grand Cru
- They cherish old vines
- 70% are over 30 years old
- 40% are over 40 years old
- Montaigu, in Chouilly, considered the best vineyard of the village. Their plot was planted in 1951
- Le Fond du Bateau, in Cramant, a lieu-dit planted in 1911
- Buisson, in Cramant, a lieu-dit planted in 1913
- Terres de Noël, in Oger, a lieu-dit used in the vintage Oger bottling
- Brulis, in Oger, a lieu-dit used in the vintage Oger bottling
- Champs Nèrons, in Oger, a lieu-dit used in the vintage Oger bottling
- Fondy, in Oger, a lieu-dit used in the vintage Oger bottling
- This was the northern edge of viticulture until recent decades
- 2nd most northern grape growing region in France, after Alsace, but much less sunshine and more rain.
- Harsh cold winters, short hot summers
- Rain in summer, snow in winter
- Very wet climate, although drought has been an issue in recent vintages because of climate change
- Viticulture is possible because of long, (hopefully) dry, temperate autumns to extend the growing season.
- Because ripeness was a struggle, grapes are usually grown for white wine, or in the last 150 years, sparkling wines.
- Variations between his sites are due to aspect, elevation and proximity to water, like the Marne river.
- Cool climate red varieties Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier dominate, but the vast majority are destined for white or rosé sparkling wines.
- Wines are going to be high in acidity, light in body, low in alcohol, and often need extended aging of 18 months or more to temper the high acidity.
- Sugar is often added to wines at the end, called dosage, to help balance the high acidities from cold climate grapes.
- Chardonnay, 99%
- Adds finesse and freshness
- Often a signature lemon meringue pie flavor profile.
- If handled reductively, can impart white flower, ginger, green apple, quince and other primary flavors
- Oxidative or aged examples can be full of brioche, kernel, honey and truffle
- Does best in east facing sites with little to no top soil on chalk and other limestones
- Pinot Noir, 1%
- Critical for structure and body, more powerful than the other two grapes
- Fruit profile can include red apple, strawberry, apricot, and peach
- Savory notes of spices, stones, rose petal and violet
- Almost always the grape used for rosé Champagne
- Shows best in on south facing sites with clay over chalk
Sustainable, but Pragmatic
- Minimal herbicides, many plots are grassed or worked by hand to control weeds
- Almost no fertilization
- Avoid pesticides with use of pheromone disruptors
- Keep synthetic fungicides to a minimum and only when needed
- Encourage biodiversity by maintaining a healthy ecosystem
- There is no dogma, just questioning of every step
- Single parcel pressing and vinification
- Natural cold settling for 24 hours
- Stainless steel fermentation, within 36 hours of grapes being picked
- Malolactic fermentation is allowed to happen
- Aging on fine lees with no battonage
- Non-vintage wines are based on at least 5 vintages
- Cuvée Gastronome is made with less yeast adding during the prise de mousse, for a lower atmospheric pressure of 2.5-3 bars (rather than the normal 5-6), and a creamier, softer mouthfeel
Pierre Gimonnet, a top Grower in the Côte des Blancs, no surprise as they've been growing grapes there since 1750. Like several of the established growers, they started bottling wines after WWI, when grape prices dropped and it was no longer feasible to sell to the big houses.
Michel Gimonnet, father of Olivier and Didier, the current managers, was responsible for raising the quality of winemaking. What today seems commonplace: single parcel vinification, use of stainless steel tanks to preserve freshness, and a desire to express his terroir, were revolutionary in the 1950s.
Michel also helped to found Les Club Trésors (The Special Club) back in the early 1970s. Nearly 50 years later, the Gimonnet family is still one of their benchmark producers.
These wines embody everything we love about Champagne from the Côte des Blancs, especially Cramant, often capable of making the sub-regions' most complex wines. Many of the wines are long-lived as demonstrated by many 20+ year old wines we've been lucky to taste.
The Gimonnet style is luxurious, but still quite nervy and exciting. There is toasty brioche, sure, but also soaring acidity and lovely, lemon yellow fruit.
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils, Champagne Extra Brut, NV $54.99 $48.39
"A crowd-pleasing Champagne for the fine balance and accessibility. A fresh spine of acidity is enmeshed in the round and creamy profile of poached apricot, grated ginger and blanched almond. Clean-cut, with a tang of salty mineral on the lasting finish. Disgorged December 2019. Drink now through 2023. 91 pts" -- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils, Champagne Sélection Belles Années Brut, NV $54.99 $48.39
"Fresh and floral, this finely balanced version offers a delicate mesh of ripe Honeycrisp apple, pickled ginger, blood orange sorbet and chalk set on a fine mousse. Disgorged February 2022. Drink now. 175 cases imported. 90 pts" Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils, Champagne 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut, NV $64.99 $57.19
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils, Champagne 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut, NV (375ml) $38.99 $34.31
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils, Champagne 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut, NV (1.5L) $159.99 $140.79
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils, Champagne 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut, NV (3L) $400.00 $352.00
"Graceful and minerally, this bright Champagne dances across the palate, with a chalky underpinning, refreshing acidity and well-meshed flavors of ripe pear, almond skin, biscuit, preserved lemon and white blossoms. Disgorged April 2023. Drink now. 1,250 cases imported. 92 pts" -- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils, Champagne Cuvée Paradoxe Brut, 2019 $71.99 $63.35
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils, Champagne Spécial Club Cramant Grand Cru Brut, 2016 $71.99 $63.35
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils, Champagne Cuvée Gastronome Brut, 2018 $74.99 $65.99
"A fresh, focused Champagne, with smoke and oyster shell notes serving as a minerally overtone for the fine, lively bead and flavors of nectarine, salted almond, white blossoms and Meyer lemon peel. Disgorged September 2022. Drink now through 2028. 150 cases imported. 91 pts" -- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils, Champagne Rosé de Blancs Brut, NV $74.99 $65.99
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils, Champagne Rosé de Blancs Brut, NV (1.5L) $169.99 $149.59
"Fresh and focused, this balanced rosé Champagne offers crisp texture and flavors of nectarine and white cherry fruit, blanched almond and delicate hints of white blossoms and fresh herbs. Minerally, salt-tinged finish. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Disgorged November 2021. Drink now. 1,750 cases imported. 91 pts" -- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils, Champagne Oger Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut, NV $79.99 $70.39
"A rich and creamy Champagne defined by lively acidity, with anise, pastry cream and salted almond notes, and fruit flavors of baked apricot and lemon curd. Minerally finish. Disgorged December 2019. Drink now through 2023. 90 pts" -- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils, Champagne Cuvée Fleuron Brut, 2017 $82.99 $73.03
"Racy and linear, with a fine, lively mousse and a minerally overtone of smoke and saline layered with creamed pear, lemon curd and poached apricot. A subtle underpinning of almond paste and pastry cream emerges to enrich the finish. Disgorged October 2021. Best after 2023. 150 cases imported. 92 pts" -- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils, Champagne Cuvée Oenophile Extra Brut, 2018 $92.99 $81.83
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils, Champagne Spécial Club Cuis 1er Cru Brut, 2018 $123.99 $109.11
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils, Champagne Spécial Club Brut, 2016 $129.99 $114.39
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils, Champagne Spécial Club Chouilly Grand Cru Brut, 2016 $154.99 $136.39
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils, Champagne Spécial Club Oger Grand Cru Brut, 2016 $154.99 $136.39
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils, Champagne Millésime de Collection Brut, 2009 (1.5L) $270.00 $237.60
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils, Champagne Millésime de Collection Brut, 2014 (1.5L) $270.00 $237.60