If there’s a more interesting grower in this (or any) portfolio than Didier Gimonnet, I ain’t met him. Every visit I make here enriches me. His is a 25-hectare winery, therefore enough wine, which is good because it is VERY BEAUTIFUL WINE with great class and savor. And sensible prices! The wines are suave, creamy and refined, with a “soft” minerality dispersed through the fruit. Silky, stylish wines rather than vigorous, racy wines. These are very deliciously accommodating to the palate.
I suspect some of it might be due to old vines, which impart a palpable creaminess. The majority of Gimonnet’s vineyards are more than 40 years old, the oldest parcel (in Cramant) is more than 80. The wines tolerate a very low dosage, 6-8 grams per liter for most Bruts. “For me, we must have concentration, but also balance, elegance and harmony,” says Didier. ~Terry Theise
81% PN (from Aÿ and Mareuil) and 19% Chardonnay (of which 7% is Mareuil). I like this wine and hope Didier keeps making it, though it adds a line item in an already large offering. This ’08 is richer and “sweeter” than ’07, a more endomorphic body showing more PN than last year’s, but with the tightness and length of ’08. Sure it’s atypical Gimonnet but it’s also good Champagne. 81% PN (from Aÿ and Mareuil) and 19% Chardonnay (of which 7% is Mareuil). ~Terry Theise
The concept is a food-friendly Champagne by dint of a gentler mousse. It’s also in effect a “young vintage” but not the vintage. It tends to accent minerality; this assemblage is 38% Chouilly, 17% Cuis(Croix Blanche), 24% Cramant, 10% Oger and 11% Vertus. Deg. Oct 2nd 2015, it’s a slim cerebral Gastronome until the toasty mid-palate, which will start to dominate after time on the cork. It’s smokier, with more iron than usual. ~Terry Theise
Deg 10/2015. This icon-wine of the Côte des Blancs is compelling and unusual in 2010, largely focused on its green elements (balsam, wintergreen) and florals (osmanthus and lilac) and less on its savor—which makes sense from 2010, an incisive but seldom generous year. Yet there is a curious warmth that emerges on the finish here, alongside an intricate minerality. In bud form now, this delicate chiseled wine is a masterpiece of sensual logic, not (yet) of revelry. And it tastes wonderful. 61% Cramant, 23.5% Chouilly, 14% Cuis and 1.5% Vertus—we have details on the climats; just ask if you’re curious.. ~Terry Theise
Deg 12/17/2015, this will BE AVAILABLE IN SEPTEMBER, and is of course a radical departure for Gimonnet, a Club monoterroir. It hails from 54% Terres de Noël and Brulis, 23% Champs Nérons (chalk) and 23% Fondy (limestone). It’s a sexy-pants Champagne; it’s got wiggle; toasted brioche, allspice, sautéed peaches, but what really makes this fly is the underlying mineral, and a fascinating note of quince taps your shoulder just before it leaves. ~Terry Theise
80% Terres de Noël and Brulis and 20% Champs Nérons, Didier describes it as “A new experience; more masculine, less fruity and more austere…” not to mention it consists of two things he said he’d never do—single-commune wine, and (entirely) Grand Cru wine. I honestly don’t believe this arose from either sensory or philosophical curiosity, as much as from the unsuitability of Oger within the existing Gimonnet blends. So the choice was, either to compromise the vision of the domain, or to isolate this outlier Oger! Deg. March 8 2016, I found it a round, savory wine; roasted veg, mirabelle, cookie dough, roasted cheese; quite focused for all that savor and quite present considering it only had 18 months of tirage. “It’s a lazy man’s wine; we make it and it comes out good.” Transplant this to Oger itself and it promptly joins the ranks of the best.