The appearance was clear, pale lemon with petite bubbles. The nose was clean with medium aroma intensity. Aromas consisted of yellow apple, pear, biscuit, lemon, and pineapple. The wine was still developing when we tasted it in August 2019.
On the palate, the wine was dry, with high acidity, low tannin, medium alcohol, medium (-) body, medium (+) flavor intensity, well balanced. The bubbles were quite delicate.
The quality was excellent. One could drink now or age for 3-5 more years, perhaps longer. The price point is over $30. We drank the wine over a period of 16 hours. We used a champagne stopper - the wine lost only a little of its effervescence during that period.
Why Pierre Gimonnet & Fils Brut Blanc de Blanc Champagne Cuvée Cuis 1er Cru?
This wine is a good introduction to grower-producer champagne. Vignerons such as Pierre Gimonnet & Fils who own vineyards within the Premiere Cru (1er) and Grand Cru classification have made a go at keeping their own fruit and vinifying it themselves rather than selling to the large Champagne houses.
This wine is grown and produced in the Côte des Blancs, between the villages of Épernay and Mont Amié. The cellars are located in the village of Cuis just outside Épernay. This region seems almost tailor-made for Chardonnay. The soils are white and chalky, with a bedrock of chalk as well. Many of the slopes are north and north-east-facing near Cuis - good for catching some morning sun in this northern region of France. North-east facing slopes are not as warm as east and south-east-facing slopes, so wines from this Cuis area often give the feeling in the mouth of higher acidity and freshness.
Most of the champagne from this Côte des Blancs region is Chardonnay, and champagne made from Chardonnay is called Blanc de Blancs. This specific wine is NV - Non-vintage - which means it is a blend across Chardonnay from a few years but all from the same Cuis sites.
At harvest, clusters are placed in small containers to prevent damage to the fruit. The fruit is pressed using traditional vertical Champagne presses. Each parcel of the vineyard is vinified separately. Following malolactic fermentation, the wine is cold-treated and filtered for stabilization. The still wine is then blended to make the cuveé and bottled. Then a mixture of yeast/wine/sugar is added (“liqueur de tirage”) - secondary fermentation occurs and the bottles age in the cellar for 18 to 24 months. Gimonnet & Fils uses manual bottle turning (“rumage”) to prepare the wine for removal of the yeast plug following the secondary fermentation. Once the yeast plug is removed, the displaced liquid must be replaced with “liqueur d’expédition” which is comprised of old wines from the estate.
If you enjoy champagne and want to learn more, check out our 14 Fun Facts about Champagne article.
Pierre Gimonnet & Fils Brut Blanc de Blanc Champagne Cuvée Cuis 1er Cru Food Pairing
Like many other high acidity, medium alcohol wines, champagne pairs well with a number of foods.
In the US we’ve come to associate champagne with aperitifs, toasts, and celebrations. Consider purchasing a bottle of champagne and sticking with it through an entire meal and let us know what you think.
Many people find they like champagne with fatty foods like French fries and potato chips - and foods with a creamy texture like hummus. We like it with sushi. Try it with milder Asian dishes, egg dishes or creamy soups.
Really spicy or powerful tasting foods tend to not pair well with champagne since they overpower the wine.
Where to Purchase Pierre Gimonnet & Fils Brut Blanc de Blanc Champagne Cuvée Cuis 1er Cru
We purchased this wine at Hope Valley Wine and Beverage in Durham, NC.
Not in Durham, NC? This wine may be available at a beverage shop near you, or online ($25 off your first order of $100 or more with code TWENTYFIVE).