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Champagne Gosset, Grand Rosé, Brut
Gosset is the oldest known producer of wine in the Champagne, its origins going back to 1584. Since 1994 it has been owned by the Cognac house, Frapin and Jean Pierre Cointreau is currently C.E.O of both companies.
Situated in the tiny Grand Cru village of Aÿ, 5km from Epernay, Gosset has some rather famous neighbours, including Bollinger. However, production is much below that of the larger houses, at around 1.3 million bottles, where as Moët et Chandon are nearing 30 million. With this small production, Gosset concentrates on the quality of its wines rather than the quantity.
All Gosset champagnes are ‘recently disgorged’, normally with a high proportion of Chardonnay and without malolactic fermentation. This preserves acidity which in turn keeps the wine fresh for much longer. The Gosset style is very creamy, dry but not acidic, full, biscuity and yeasty.
The Gosset Brut Excellence NV is a blend of 42% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir and 13% Pinot Meunier with a high proportion of reserve wines from previous vintages (almost 25%).
The Gosset Grande Réserve NV is blend of several vintages, powerful, and biscuity, made of 46% Chardonnay, 44% Pinot Noir, 10% Pinot Meunier, it is ideal with food. Packaged in the “Bouteille Ancienne” characteristic of the Gosset range with deep red labelling.
The Gosset Grand Rosé NV is blended from 56% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir, and 9% red wine from Ambonnay. The Gosset Grand Millésime is the first of the vintage Champagnes produced by Gosset.
The jewel in the Gosset crown has always been the Champagne Gosset Celebris. It is the top cuvée, only produced in the best vintages. 2007 saw the relaunch of the Celebris range with the addition of two more champagnes and a change in style: Champagne Gosset Celebris Blanc des Blancs: Produced from 100% Chardonnay and with a dosage of 3.5g/l, this is a low dosage, extra brut champagne. A blend of four previous vintage wines this is a pure, rich and creamy champagne.
Champagne Gosset Celebris Vintage Extra Brut has very low dosage. Celebris Rosé 2003: A blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and up to 7% red wines from Ambonnay; it is the third ‘low dosage’ Champagne of Gosset.
26% of vineyards in Champagne are planted with Chardonnay and it performs best on the Côtes des Blancs and on the chalk slopes south of Epernay. It is relatively simple to grow, although it buds early and thus is susceptible to spring frosts. It produces lighter, fresher wines than those from Burgundy and gives finesse, fruit and elegance to the final blend. It is the sole grape in Blancs de Blancs, which are some of the richest long-lived Champagnes produced.
Pinot Noir accounts for nearly 40% of the plantings in Champagne and lies at the heart of most blends - it gives Champagne its body, structure, strength and grip. It is planted across Champagne and particularly so in the southern Aube district.
The final component is Pinot Meunier and this constitutes nearly 35% of the plantings. Its durability and resistance to spring frosts make the Marne Valley, a notorious frost pocket, its natural home. It ripens well in poor years and produces a soft, fruity style of wine that is ideal for blending with the more assertive flavours of Pinot Noir. Producers allege that Pinot Meunier lacks ageing potential, but this does not deter Krug from including around 15% of it in their final blends.
Rosé wines are produced by leaving the juice of red grapes to macerate on their skins for a brief time to extract pigments (natural colourings). However, Rosé Champagne is notable in that it is produced by the addition of a small percentage of red wine – usually Pinot Noir from the village of Bouzy – during blending.