I love Champagne, and since today is the Second Annual Champagne Day (really, it is!), I thought it would be appropriate to write a blog post in honour of Champagne, which in my opinion, is one of the world’s greatest inventions. And, yesterday at Halpern’s biennial Grand Cru event, I was able to try 3 astonishingly good Champagnes from Gosset.
Gosset is the oldest producer of wine in Champagne, founded in 1584 by Pierre Gosset who made mostly still red wine from Pinot Noir – they didn’t begin making sparkling wine until 2 centuries later. The house was purchased in 1993 by the Cointreau family after Albert Gosset passed away, but the hands-on approach that was started by the Gosset family has been retained by the new owners.
Gosset produces over one million bottles a year. In order to preserve acidity and help keep the wines fresh for much longer, malolactic fermentation is avoided. The wines are made almost entirely of hand-harvested Premier Cru and Grand Cru grapes, and only the first pressings of the grapes are used. All Gosset Champagnes are riddled by hand. In addition to the 3 wines written about below, Gosset also makes an entry level Excellence Brut (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier), the Grand Reserve Brut (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier), and the Celebris portfolio which includes a Blanc de Blancs, Rosé 2003, and Vintage 1998.
The three wines being poured at Grand Cru were Grand Blanc de Blancs NV, Grand Millésime 2000, and Grand Rosé Brut NV. All three were stunning. Unfortunately none of these wines are currently available at the LCBO or Vintages, but you can order them through Halpern Wine Enterprises.
Grand Blanc de Blancs NV: This brand new wine in Gosset’s portfolio is being released for the first time this fall. Made with the finest grapes from 15 villages, this wine was aged 5 years on the lees. It’s a blend of wines from 2003, 2004, and 2005, and is 100% Chardonnay. This wine is a medium golden yellow colour with aromas of yellow fruit, lemon citrus, white flowers, mineral, and autolytic notes of bread and yeast. A very generous mousse and creamy mouthfeel with vibrant acidity and a long finish. (Approx. $88)
Grand Millésime 2000: A blend of 57% Chardonnay and 43% Pinot Noir, and aged on the lees for 10 years. It was disgorged in April 2011. A deeper golden yellow than the Blanc de Blancs with pronounced and complex aromas of roasted hazelnut, bruised apple, baking spice, honeyed stone fruit, and buttered brioche. Round and full-bodied with a luxurious mouthfeel, lively acidity and a persistent finish. (Approx. $94)
Grand Rosé Brut: Made from 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir including 7% still red Pinot Noir added. A pretty onion skin colour with aromas of crisp red berries, pink grapefruit, freshly cut pumpkin, gingerbread, nutmeg, spring blossoms, and minerals. Full and creamy on the palate with a lively mousse and a lovely lingering finish. (Approx. $85)