Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday Night Bubbles

NV Pierre Gimonnet Champagne Blanc de Blancs 1er Cru, $36 (but it's about $42 now, as they've all gone up in price), Terry Theise Selections. Disgorged on September 21, 2007, as the label helpfully explains.

Gimonnet's vines are located in the Côte de Blancs, some in the Grand Cru villages of Chouilly and Cramant, others in the 1er Cru village of Cuis. These Cru designations are meaningful, but they obviously don't tell the whole story, just like in Burgundy. There are top flight producers, including big houses like Bollinger, who buy grapes from 1er Cru Cuis growers, but sell their wines for Grand Cru dough.

Gimonnet is a producer whose wines were among the first Grower Champagnes I experienced. This wine in particular sold me me on the beauty and the individuality of Grower wines. This is a great wine that is just so easy to love, a wine to pour you in-laws if they haven't yet tasted Grower Champagne. I hadn't had a bottle in about 6 months and we decided that it was time.

The nose is clean and creamy with citrus and chalky minerals. Not as focused as some other Blanc de Blancs, more broad and round. I mean that in a good way. The palate is chalky chalky chalky, with some toasty bread and fresh citrus fruit. Delicious and satisfying Champagne, unencumbered with baggage of any kind - this is pure chalky soil on display. We carelessly left a glass out on the counter over night and in the morning I discovered (as I was making coffee) that although it was flat, it was almost salty with minerals and totally complex and delicious. Even in this warm and flat state, this was very tasty and interesting. They say that's the ultimate test with Champs, the quality of the still wine...

So does this mean I have a problem, drinking warm and flat Champagne from my wife's glass at 6:45 AM on a Saturday while preparing my daughter's breakfast? It was just a sip or two.


Marcus said...

Doesn't mean you've got a problem Neil, it just means you've got a blog.

More to the point, that's the spirit! Actually, this is good to know. Years ago, I had a Cremant de Bourgogne, Cave de Viré was the name, that I liked a lot. At the time, I thought that sparkling wine wouldn't keep and that if I ever opened one a weeknight with no one else around it would go to waste. Screw that, was my eventual realization.

I ended up drinking the last of it quite flat (it was flat mostly because I stupidly thought that, like still wine, decanting into a smaller bottle helps preserve it... DOH!) Anyway I loved every last sip of it -- flat as tapwater, but complex with nuanced flavours that we harder to perceive amid the fizz.

How perverse.

David McDuff said...

No problem, Neil. I'm sure you were just being conscientious. After all, first thing in the morning is the best time to taste.

Louise said...

Okay, so I should probably stop using my daughter's account for this sort of thing... But I'm pleased to report a successful replication of your (unintentional) experiment. I opened a bottle of Gimonnnet's NV 1er Cru last night. Having read your post (and never having been bashful about champagne and cheerios), I left a glass on the counter. The next morning it was a beaut! Saline and mineral, almost briney. With some citrus (lime zest) still showing brightly.

Maybe we should start a trend?

David Harden

Anonymous said...

You totally do not have a problem drinking warm flat champagne (although it would be better off-warm). I think it's a indication of quality of Champagne how it tastes flat (and warmish). I've found that good small grower champagne often tastes like white wine when flat, so much so that when I have the opportunity I hold some in the glass until the end of a tasting.

Vinotas said...

Yum! I love Gimmonet, and no it's not a problem to "taste" it the next day in the morning. How else would you keep learning about the wonders of Farmer Fizz?

Marco said...

In Italian it would be a vergogna if you didn't drink it.

Anonymous said...

On New Year's Eve a friend and I opened a bottle of NV Gimonnet. It was delicious with great minerality. This is the house champagne of Caves Augé in Paris. I've also had some good bottles recently from the village of Vertus, including the popular Larmandier-Bernier (at Savoy in NYC) and Fourny, whom I visited on my trip back from the Salon in Angers. I also paid Tarlant a visit on the way back from Paris. Their NV is very good. It's the house champagne of Legrand Filles & Fils.

Louis/Dressner Selections said...


Have you see the movie Iron Man?

I hear it rocks,

Joe Dressner

Brooklynguy said...

thanks for all of your support, folks. good to know that i can report this kind of thing and not come home to an intervention or something the next day.

marco - what is a vergogna?!?

Deetrane said...

It's also good to know you can post on Friday evening about warm Champagne on a Saturday morning and get 9 enthusiastic comments by Sunday afternoon.

Marco said...