Gimonnet-Gonet, Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru "L'Origine"
Gimonnet-Gonet, Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru "L'Origine"

Gimonnet-Gonet, Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru "L'Origine"

Champagne, France MV (750mL)
Regular price$65.00

Gimonnet-Gonet, Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru "L'Origine"

Our recent Champagne discoveries have focused on the Grand Cru villages of Bouzy and Ambonnay, the region’s top sites for Pinot Noir. Today we pivot to the apogee of Chardonnay: Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. This is hallowed ground for Blanc de Blancs, and a virtual mecca for those of us obsessed with the impossibly sublime combination of richness, precision, and elegance. Here you can easily walk from Krug’s “Clos du Mesnil” vineyard, past Pierre Peters’ “Chetillons,” to the tiny, collector’s dream house of Champagne Salon. It’s enough to make any wine lover feel faint in the head, and that’s before you see the astronomical prices that these bottles command. That’s why we always get super giddy when a glittering bottle of Mesnil makes its way to the tasting table, but we were downright floored to find one as spot on true to this special terroir as Gimonnet-Gonet. And then we saw the price! All the majesty of Mesnil Blanc de Blancs for less than $50? Madness! This is not to be missed!

Even Champagne die-hards might be surprised to learn that Blanc de Blancs isn’t de facto Chardonnay; there are actually a handful of white grapes that are legally allowed in Champagne and any blend of those would qualify as a “white of whites” to this day. That said, Chardonnay has been the undisputed king for generations, and the aptly named Côte des Blancs is the sub-region where it reigns. There are a handful of exquisite Grand Crus here, but the experts agree that Mesnil-sur-Oger is the undisputed champion. Why? There are myriad factors that combine to make this terroir so special, but perhaps the most important is the super high concentration of chalky limestone directly below very shallow topsoil. The belt of limestone that runs through much of Champagne becomes most prominent in the Côte de Blancs, and in Mesnil the other major soil type, clay, is almost non-existent. It is this pure, gleaming chalk that turns Chardonnay into sparkling gold. It also happens to be the spot where Anne Gonet and Philippe Gimonnet established their small domaine.

The names “Gonet” and “Gimonnet” are well known throughout Champagne. These families have been growing grapes and producing wine for many generations. So when Anne Gonet and Philippe Gimonnet met, and fell in love, in the early 1980s, they seemed destined to follow in their familial footsteps. Problem was, they both had older siblings who had already been giving the keys to their respective estates and divided up most of the holdings. But Anne was able to secure a scant five hectares of land, and Philippe a few more, and so the Gimonnet-Gonet domaine was born. The most important factor, of course, was that those five hectares that Anne secured were smack dab in the middle of Mesnil-sur-Oger. Indeed, when standing in these vineyards, you can see both Krug’s famous Clos du Mesnil and the Salon estate.

Along with their prized Mesnil parcels, Gimonnet-Gonet has a few hectares of vines in the neighboring Grand Crus of Chouilly, Oger, and Cramant, but Mesnil always makes up at least 60% of the final composition. With exceptional terroir, Anne and Philippe work very meticulously in the cellar to transfer that excellence directly into their wine. The current release is based on the superb 2018 vintage, fermented and aged entirely in stainless steel tanks, and then bottle aged on the lees for 36 months prior to disgorgement.  Serve this beautiful, white-gold-hued Champagne cool, but not too cold, in an all-purpose or Burgundy stem to allow the aromatics to blossom and the super-fine mousse to do its delicate dance. A range of flavors accompany the expressive, complex perfume: Lemon zest, golden apple, white raspberry, brioche, citrus blossom, lemongrass, kiwi, and loads of lingering, saline, chalky minerality. That impossibly long, mineral finish is the calling card of Mesnil and it will keep you coming back for more. Serve with raw oysters or homemade gravlax, ideally topped with a little caviar, and you have a weekend brunch made for royalty, but without the royal price tag! This is one of the best Champagne deals we’ve seen in a long time: Don’t pass it by!

Gimonnet-Gonet, Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru "L'Origine"

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