Grower Champagne Club – August 2016

Philippe Gonet, 3210 Extra Brut
Chantal Gonet paid us a visit recently and we were charmed both by her and by the delightful Champagnes she makes with her brother Pierre in the Côte des Blancs village of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Their estate was founded in 1830 by Philippe Gonet and today she and her brother represent the seventh generation of the family to oversee the property. They have 19 hectares planted in 11 different villages, one third of which is in the iconic village of Le Mesnil. While they are technically a negociant (hence the NM designation on the label), they are a large family grower and the vast majority of their Champagnes come from their own estate-grown fruit. This wine is the newest addition to their production and the unusual name, 3210, describes the composition of the wine: 3 years of aging, 2 terroirs, 1 variety, and zero dosage. To be more specific, the Champagne is aged six months in stainless steel, followed by at least three years in bottle. As for the two terroirs, half comes from five parcels in Montgueux (the “Grand Cru” of the Aube) and half from 13 parcels in the Côte des Blancs (Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oger). The single grape variety is Chardonnay, and the zero dosage keeps it all pure and bright. The Gonet 3210 has amazingly complex aromas, with hints of toasted pastry and ripe fruit. The overall feel is one of freshness, with lots of tiny, lively bubbles and supple, ripe citrus notes. It is $75 and the Gonets suggest enjoying it with seafood, such as oysters or lightly cooked scallops, or with cured ham or salami.