Saturday, October 8, 2011
Pierre Gimonnet & Fils: Trésors de Champagne
my visit to the Champagne region, I had the pleasure to meet Didier Gimonnet (pictured above) of Pierre Gimonnet & Fils, another producer of Grower's Champagne. Didier and his brother Olivier run the winery, dividing up the tasks between the two of them. Their family has lived in their village since 1760 but they did not start making their own wine until about 1929, originally purchasing grapes from a negociant. They now own about 12 hectares of vineyards in the Côte des Blancs, most Grand Cru.
Club Trésors de Champagne ("Treasures of Champagne"), which was a new organization to me. Back in 1971, a dozen, old owner/grower families formed the Club de Viticulteurs Champenois, to raise awareness of their special cuvees. By 1999, the group had about 26 members and changed the name to Trésors de Champagne. Only Recoitant-Manipulants can become members, only those who grow all their own grapes.
Each member then may create a special cuvee for the Club, which will eventually be put in a bottle unique to the club, though with the producer's own label. The cuvee is supposed to be one of the producer's best wine, and thus such wines won't be produced every year. A submitted wine must also undergo a rigorous peer evaluation, to ensure the high quality of the cuvee. Those that do not measure up will be rejected. Thus, these wines are rare and should represent some of the best Grower's Champagne that exists.
The 2004 Pierre Gimonnet Special Club lived up to its promise, providing me motivation to seek out other special club wines from other producers.
Have you tasted any others of the Trésors de Champagne?