Pierre-Gimonnet et Fils in the Côte des Blancs is one of the best grower-producers of Champagne. I visit him whenever I am in the region to chat, taste, have lunch and replenish diminishing stocks
We drove from Reims to Cuis in the morning and the journey via Epernay took about forty-five minutes. Just outside Reims we stopped at Champagne Bruno-Paillard, another great grower-producer, mainly to restock. Alice Pillared who met us insisted on a quick tour and tasting before she would sell us any wine! It is always a great delight to taste with the Paillards. Alice’s father Bruno was among the first to show the date of disgorgement on the back label of a bottle of champagne (1985) – something most of us consider important.
Gimonnets have been making champagne since 1750. The aim of the House which has 16 hectares in Premier Cru vineyards and 12 hectares in Grand Cru vineyards in the Côte des Blancs is to extract maximum expression from the grapes and terroir. The estate is managed by two brothers – Didier and Olivier Gimonnet.
The average vine age here is around 35 years and 80% of the Gimonnet Grand Cru vineyards are over 40 years of age. Grapes are harvested manually and vinification is carried out in small tanks of 25-125 hl only. The dosage is limited to a maximum of 8 g/l. and unlike most houses, all reserve wines are kept in bottle.
As always, Didier Gimonnet was there to welcome and lead us to his lounge overlooking the Cuis Premier Cru vineyards. Bottles were opened and wine poured. We sat back and relaxed. It was like being in a close friend’s house.
We tasted the following:
- Cuis Premier Cru NV – 100% Chardonnay. The blend of the current NV is 72% of 2008, 13.3% of 2007, 3.3% of 2006, 7.5% of 2005 and 3.9% of 2004. Dosage 8 g/l. It is a delightful aperitif champagne
- Rosé NV – Made with a touch of Pinot Noir from Bouzy, the wine is 80% Grand Cru. Dosage is 6.4 g/l
- Oger Grand Cru – Didier has acquired 1 ha of vineyards in the great Grand Cru Chardonnay village of Oger. This wine is from the 2011 vintage and has a rich nose and a smoky rich body.
- Cuvée Brut Fleuron, Brut Premier Cru 2009 – This blend can represent 30 – 50% of the total production and contains wine from Chouilly, Cramant and Oger (10%) Grands Crus in addition to Cuis Premier Cru (20%).
- Cuvée Brut Fleuron 2006 en magnum
- Cuvée Fleuron 1961: Has 10% Pinot Meunier. Still alive and kicking
- Cuvée Special Club 2008: 100% Chardonnay, mostly Cramant Grand Cru with some Chouilly Grand Cru and Cuis premier Cru
- Cuvée Millesime de Collection 2005 en magnum
- Cuvée Paradoxes 2008: A blend of 80% Ay Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay
Lunch brought in from a good restaurant in Epernay, followed and was greatly enjoyed.
Hours: Weekdays 8.30 am – 2.30 pm and 2 pm to 6 pm, Saturday 8.30 am – 12.30 pm. Closed on Sundays
UK Agent: Armit Wines,,5 Royalty Studios 105 Lancaster Rd London W11 1QF, 020 7908 0655 email@example.com