2014 Pierre Gimonnet, Cuvée Gastronome, $70
Pierre Gimonnet is a relatively large (by grower standards) domain, located in the village of Cuis, with about 28 hectares (60 acres) of Grand and Premier Cru vines, mostly in the Côte des Blancs. The family has been growing grapes since 1750 and 70% of the vineyards are over 30 years old, with their oldest parcel, in Cramant, over 100. Pierre Gimonnet first began bottling Champagne from their fruit in 1935 and the winery is now headed by his grandson, Didier. Didier has described himself as “unfashionable,” which importer Terry Theise is quick to clarify, refers to the fact that he is not swayed by fashion; rather he is faithful to his winemaking experience and principles, and avoids chasing current trends. And he makes very classy and elegant Champagnes.
His 2014 Cuvée Gastronome is 100% Chardonnay from the Grand Cru villages of Chouilly (28%), Cramant (18%), and Oger (10%), and the Premier Cru villages of Vertus (10%) and Cuis (34%). It is very expressive of Gimonnet’s style, with fruit from the different sites combining to contibute freshness, elegance, and balance. The wine sees no oak, but does go through malolactic fermentation and is aged over three years on the lees. As you might infer from the name, this Champagne is created to enjoy with food. It has lower pressure (atmospheres), giving it finer bubbles and texture and it will continue to open up during the course of a meal. It is a style of Champagne that was historically produced for restaurants and is not made by many other producers today. Sumptuous and stylish, with enticing, toasty aromas and notes of stone fruit, it is ready to enjoy anytime, especially with a meal. Perhaps one involving seafood.