Grower Champagne Club – June 2011

NV Domaine Bruno Gobillard, Brut
The Gobillard family has been growing grapes in the region around Epernay since the 1700s, but it wasn’t until 1858 that they bottled their first Champagne under their own name. Today they own 17 acres of vines in the villages around Epernay, planted to all three grapes, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. When Bruno Gobillard took over in 1994, he shifted the focus away from the negotiant business to produce estate wines, but he continued to follow the traditions of his family who kept meticulous records of their winemaking methods dating back to that first vintage in 1858. Bruno still uses these notes as a reference in making the family Champagne today. He also continues to use their large, old-fashioned, vertical wooden press, which presses the fruit very gently, without stressing it. The average age of his vines is 30 years and he sells off any fruit from younger vines to negociants, keeping the highest quality fruit for his own wines. Because he keeps his wines in bottle for at least four years before disgorgement and uses minimal dosage, they are remarkably fresh and pure. And although they don’t generally undergo malolactic fermentation, they do see extended time on the lees, giving them their lovely aromatics of ripe stone fruit and their inviting complexity and length. The wonderfully pure minerality comes from the chalky soil around Epernay. This is a gorgeous Champagne, renowned for its incredibly fine bubbles. It is $52.