Region: Côte des Blancs
Premier cru sites in Cuis and Mareuil-sur Aÿ
Grand crus in Cramant , Chouilly, Oger, Vertus, Aÿ,
Total vineyard holdings: 28 hectares
Annual production: 20,000 cases
Vines: 98% chardonnay, 2% pinot noir
Pierre Gimonnet & Fils (CUIS)
Didier Gimonnet is the second generation of growers to direct this superb estate, with 28 hectares of holdings in grand and premier cru villages, predominantly in the Côte de Blancs. The winery is in the premier cru village of Cuis where Didier's family has been growing grapes since 1750. Pierre Gimonnet, Dider's Grandfather, started bottling estate champagnes in 1935. In addition to the 13.5 hectares in Cuis, Gimonnet owns 11 hectares of chardonnay vines in the grand cru villages of Cramant and Chouilly, plus another hectare in Oger and two in Vertus. Gimonnet also owns half a hectare of pinot noir, split between the grand cru of Aÿ and 1er cru of Mareuil-sur Aÿ
The high percentage of old vines at this estate sets it apart in a region suffering from a plethora of very young vineyards. Seventy percent of Gimonnet's holdings are over 30 years old, of which some forty percent are over 40 years old, with 100+ year old vines in the lieux-dits of Le Fond du Bateau, planted in 1911, and Buisson planted in 1913, both in the Grand Cru village of Cramant.
"Cramant," says Gimonnet, is "very expressive and round;" Chouilly is similar in style but slightly less concentrated; Cuis is much more "neutral, acid, fresh, aerial:" this north-facing village is the coolest in the Côte des Blancs. These are sappy, crunchy, refreshing champagnes of acupuncturally tonic qualities with lingering, salty purity.