Family-owned, run, made and grown, Gimonnet is one of the best, and best-known “Grower Champagne” producers sold in the U.S. Their Blanc de Blancs (= 100% Chardonnay) “Cuvée Cuis” (= Blend from the village of Cuis, a 1er Cru Champagne village) shows tell-tale smells & flavors of the Côtes des Blancs: ripe green apple, lemon custard and quince paste. Also typical of the region is its puckering acidity and soft “crunch” of crushed white rocks that speaks to concept of “terroir.” Now all that said, “Cuvée Cuis” balances its tang with a sweet & creamy component from lees-aging and dosage. It’s a Brut Champagne through and through, but not to be mistaken for the no-dosage Champagnes (aka zero dosage, Brut Nature, non-dosage).
For top-level Grower Champagnes (aka Récoltant-Manipulant, or RM), Gimonnet is one of the most available and most reasonably priced in the U.S. market. While you can find plenty of nice Champagne for under $50/bottle retail, I generally find $50 is the starting point for something special. Cuvée Cuis is Gimonnet’s entry level Champagne, but to me it still qualifies as top-echelon wine. For something other-worldly, seek out a bottle of Gimonnet “Special Club” Champagne, especially a 2008 or 2009.
I shared my Gimonnet “Cuvee Cuis” review with the Napa Valley Wine Academy for their weekly newsletter. This is why my notes are more scholastic than my normal prose. Words in bold are keywords for wine students to study as they relate to Champagne.