Pierre Gimonnet & Fils
Region: Côte des Blancs
Premier Cru Sites: Cuis, Mareuil-sur Aÿ, and Vertus
Grand Cru Sites: Cramant, Chouilly, Oger, and Aÿ
Total Vineyard Holdings: 29.4 hectares
Annual Production: 20,000 cases
Vines: 99% Chardonnay, 1% Pinot Noir
Pierre Gimonnet & Fils (Cuis)
Didier Gimonnet directs this superb estate, located in the Premier Cru of Cuis. With 29.4 hectares of holdings in Grand and Premier Cru villages, predominantly in the Côte des Blancs, Didier’s family has been growing grapes in Champagne since 1750. It was Pierre Gimonnet, Didier’s grandfather, who started bottling estate Champagnes in 1935. In addition to the 13.5 hectares in Cuis, Gimonnet owns 11 hectares of Chardonnay in the Grand Cru villages of Cramant and Chouilly, plus another hectare in Oger and two in Vertus Premier Cru. Gimonnet also owns half a hectare of Pinot Noir, split between the Grand Cru of Aÿ and Premier Cru of Mareuil-sur-Aÿ. The high percentage of old vines at this estate set it apart in a region suffering from a plethora of very young vineyards. Seventy percent of Gimonnet’s holdings are over 30 years old, of which some forty percent are over 40 years old, with 100+ year old vines in the lieux-dits of Le Fond du Bateau, planted in 1911, and Buisson planted in 1913, both in the Grand Cru village of Cramant.
Gimonnet’s outstanding wines are built on the strength of the terroir that he and his brother have expanded in the heart of the Côte des Blancs. His Spécial Club, for example, is based on Cramant Grand Cru, and includes their 100+ year old vines in the lieux-dits of ‘Le Fond du Bateau,’ and ‘Buissons.’ “Cramant,” says Gimonnet, is “very expressive and round;” Chouilly is similar in style but slightly less concentrated; Cuis is much more “neutral, acid, fresh, aerial:” this north-facing village is the coolest in the Côte des Blancs. These are sapid, crunchy, refreshing Champagnes of acupuncturally tonic qualities with lingering, salty purity.