Pierre Gimonnet, Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Special Club "Terroirs de Chardonnay"
Pierre Gimonnet, Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Special Club "Terroirs de Chardonnay"

Pierre Gimonnet, Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Special Club "Terroirs de Chardonnay"

Champagne, France 2016 (750mL)
Regular price$135.00

Pierre Gimonnet, Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Special Club "Terroirs de Chardonnay"

To cap off 2023 in the highest possible style, we’re offering admission into what may be the most exclusive club in wine: Champagne’s “Spécial Club.” Out of several thousand Champagne producers, just 28 have been appointed to this exclusive circle of esteemed growers, and even fewer—one of whom happens to be Gimonnet—are among the founding members. In short, this vintage-dated blanc de blancs thriller from Pierre Gimonnet is one of the most sought-after Champagnes on earth. Sourced in large part from the estate’s century-old Chardonnay vineyards in the Grand Cru village of Cramant, this is a luxurious, six-years-aged triumph that ranks among the most prestigious blanc de blancs bottlings on the market. And yet, look at the price—a pittance, frankly, for a wine of this magnitude. Lovers of the very best Champagnes: This is a must-have, and there isn’t much to be had!

The “Spécial Club,” known as Club Trésors de Champagne since 1999, is one of the most rigorous wine organizations on earth. Other than being one of the 28 qualifying members—which happens only through private invitation—a series of fortunate events must occur should you want to display “Spécial Club” on your label. First, the wine must be a vintage-dated Champagne from a year deemed worthy by the committee (in the stellar 2016 growing season, there wasn’t a shred of doubt). Second, your wine must be blind tasted, twice, by a nonpartisan panel of enologists and winemakers—once as a base wine and then again after three years of bottle aging. If one of them is voted down, your wine no longer qualifies for the Spécial Club. If, however, the wine meets all the requirements, the producer may package it in the specially designed squat-shaped bottle, which is trademarked exclusively for the club’s usage. 

Didier and Olivier Gimonnet, grandsons of namesake Pierre, are responsible for 28 hectares of vineyards throughout a handful of villages in the northern Côte des Blancs. Top-tier Champagne has been produced here for more than 80 years, but vines have been farmed by the Gimonnet family since 1750. In every Gimonnet bottling, you’re tasting the craftsmanship that comes with deep history, as well as the finest Chardonnay terroir in Champagne. What they strive for here is nothing but pure, rich, and refined expressions of Chardonnay from impressively old vines—the large majority exceed 40 years of age, although their most prized parcels in Cramant date back to 1911. About 60% of today’s 2016 is sourced from these ancient vines in Cramant, with the rest coming from Grand Cru Chouilly (30%) and Premier Cru Cuis 10%. Manually farmed and harvested, the grapes fermented, including malolactic, in stainless steel. Following, the different Chardonnay parcels were blended together and bottled, after which the wine aged on lees for six years. It received a very light (5 grams/liter) dosage upon disgorgement. 

Gimonnet’s 2016 Spécial Club is a remarkable wine that highlights the raw intelligence and power of old-vines in Cramant. Incredible tension and multi-layered richness keeps the palate building with each passing second, and an extraordinary ripe fruit/crushed mineral infusion allows it to soar. This is a paragon of world-class Champagne which, when served in larger “wine” stems (not flutes) and allowed to come up to around 50-55 degrees, really blossoms: Explosions of ripe quince, apricot, and yellow apples dominate center stage, followed by toasted nuts, brioche, salted lemon peel, citrus blossoms, oyster shell, acacia honey, lees, vanilla bean, and crushed chalk. Despite the powerful minerality at play, there’s also a remarkable suppleness to the texture. The palate is full, rich, and luxurious, all with an underlying intensity that leaves a long-lasting imprint. This vintage will undoubtedly age for the next 10-20 years, so take that into consideration when filling your cart. Gather your greatest Champagne aficionados around for this one—it’s one for the history books.

Pierre Gimonnet, Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Special Club "Terroirs de Chardonnay"

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