Nicolas Cauchois from the house of Gosset explains why their Champagne is different from most.
A few days ago, I arrived early to the offices of Le Sommelier for a tasting of wines from the old Champagne house Gosset. As Bernard Stramwasser and his team of wine agents set-up the tasting, I found Gosset’s export manager, Nicolas Cauchois, and persuaded him to step outside for the quick video interview below about what makes Gosset and its Champagnes different from many of the other popular brands.
Email versions of this post won’t show the embedded video that should be above, please click here to see it at Good Food Revolution.
After the shooting the video, I had the opportunity to taste through seven of Gosset’s Champagnes, and can attest to the veracity of the interview. They were crisp and bright without being jarring and showed a lovely roundness and fruit character that must be the result of the long lees contact that Monsieur Cauchois spoke to me about.
The wines tasted are listed below with notes provided by Le Sommelier.
CHAMPAGNE GOSSET TASTING, LE SOMMELIER, JUNE 4
Extra Brut NV, $67.95 (6/cs) – in transit, ETA mid-July
The newest release for the house, reflecting the cultural shift towards dryer champagnes.
“The citrus-yellow Gosset NV Extra-Brut (dosage: five grams per liter) is an assemblage of Chardonnay (32%), Pinot Noir (45%) and Pinot Meunier (23%) sourced in 11 villages. This is a deliciously lithe, fresh, elegant, well-structured and creamy-textured cuvée with charmingly round fruit and stimulating mineral grip in the pure, fresh, super precise and delicate finish. This is an impressive cuvée and a great effort at this price point! Drink 2018- 2024.” – 91 points (Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate, Oct 31, 2018)
Grande Réserve Brut NV, $76.95 (6/cs) – consignment, in stock; 375mL ETA mid-July The Grand Reserve Brut is sourced almost entirely from premier cru and grand cru vineyards (10 villages in total). It is a blend of 45% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir, 10% Pinot Meunier, spends nearly 4 years on lees, and has a dosage of 7 g/L.
“Vibrant acidity creates a mouth-watering impression that frames the flavors of poached pear and yellow peach fruit, with notes of spring blossom and hints of biscotti, vanilla and candied lemon zest. Refined and expressive, with a long, spiced finish. Drink now through 2022.— AN” – 92 points Wine Spectator
“Concentrated yet elegant, this is a favourite of many industry experts. – 2018 Champagne of the Year” – Dawn Davies, MW, The Whisky Exchange
Grand Blanc de Blancs Brut NV, $95.95 – in stock, by the bottle
This is sourced from fifteen villages from Côte des Blancs and Montagne de Reims, and has a dosage of 6 g/L.
“A cuvée that emphasizes Chardonnay from the Montagne de Reims, the latest rendition of the NV Grand Blanc de Blancs Brut exhibits scents of citrus oil, green apples, fennel, white flowers and freshly baked bread. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, with a broad and powerful attack that segues into a tightly wound, racy mid-palate and concludes with a precise, delicately mordant finish. Drink 2020-2035.” – 93 points (William Kelley, Wine Advocate, Apr 30, 2019)
Célébris Vintage Extra Brut 2007, $198.95 (6/cs) – in transit, ETA mid-July
A blend of 57% Chardonnay and 43% Pinot Noir, this spent 10 years in the cellar prior to release. 3 g/L dosage.
“The 2007 Célébris Extra Brut is the latest rendition of this cuvée, which cellar master Odilon de Varine describes as “not a vintage Gosset but a Gosset vintage”—meaning that it’s produced only in years adapted to the house’s powerful but austere style. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of lemon oil, marzipan, warm biscuits and wet stones, it’s full-bodied, with a deep and concentrated core of ripe but racy fruit, a tangy spine of acidity and an elegant pinpoint mouse, displaying terrific purity and precision. Drink 2020-2040.” – 95 points (William Kelley, Wine Advocate, Apr 30, 2019)
Petite Douceur Rosé Extra Dry NV, $89.95 (6/cs) – in transit, ETA mid-July
The Gosset Petite Douceur Rosé Extra Brut is wonderfully silky, polished and refined, blending 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir, including 7% still red wine. The flavours are bright and lifted throughout, reflecting the predominance of Chardonnay in the blend. Cranberry, white pepper, mint and crushed rocks all give it much of its translucence and weightless energy. Ideal with lighter fruit desserts. 17 g/L dosage.
Grand Rosé Brut NV, $99.95 – in stock, by the bottle; 375mL in transit ETA mid-July Bright and lifted due to the high proportion of Chardonnay (50%) in this cuvée, the remainder coming from Pinot Noir, including 8% still red wine. 8 g/L dosage.
“Bottled in 2014 and disgorged in June 2018, the NV Grand Rosé Brut offers up an attractive bouquet of sweet red apples, fresh pastry and orange rind. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, concentrated and powerful, built around a bright spine of acidity and a tight-knit core but with enough substance to cover its structural bones and offer great promise for medium-term cellaring. This is an intense, elegantly austere wine that exemplifies the Gosset style. Drink 2020-2035.” – 92 points (William Kelley, Wine Advocate, Apr 30, 2019)
Célébris Rosé Vintage Extra Brut 2007, $239.95 – in stock, by the bottle
Pristine and bright, due to the high proportion of Chardonnay in this cuvée (59%), the remainder from Pinot Noir, including 7 percent still wine. This spends a minimum of 10 years in the cellar, and was dosed with 5 g/L dosage.
“The brilliant 2007 Celebris Rosé Extra Brut might be better described as “œil de perdrix,” so subtle is its hue; cellar master Odilon de Varine commented that the idea behind the wine was not so much to produce a rosé as to produce a Celebris with more depth and richness. The wine wafts from the glass with a lovely bouquet of yellow orchard fruit, beeswax, pain d’epices and clear honey, followed by a full-bodied, broad and crisply fleshy palate with a deep and tight-knit core, a bright spine of acidity and a long, mineral finish. To my palate, this is the finest of Gosset’s current releases, and it’s well worth a special effort to seek out. Drink 2020-2040.” – 96 points (William Kelley, Wine Advocate, Apr 30, 2019)
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