Tasted - Pierre Gimmonet 'Oenophile' 2012

2012 - invigorating Zero Dosage Chardonnay

In certain years Didier Gimonnet makes a zero-dosage Vintage wine released as an 'Oenophile' bottling. It's a clever way of presenting the idea - these are never going to be the 'easiest' bottles, so it's perhaps wise to warn off any unsuspecting customers with a gentle suggestion that this cuvée requires a little context.

Wines consist of Grand Cru Chardonnay from Cramant and Chouilly as Premier Cru from Vertus and Cuis. Gimonnet describes 2012 as having "an extraordinary purity". To support this three words keep popping up in his description of this vintage; crayeux, salin, and mineralité. The winemaking feels very transparent in all Gimonnet's wines - they are reductive in approach but stop short of actually generating reductive flavours. If you want an unclouded taste experience of Northern Côte Des Blancs Chardonnay you couldn't do much better.

Pierre Gimonnet Et Fils Blanc De Blancs 'Oenophile' 2012
This opened up to be more layered than I was expecting - there are quite a few different shades of Chardonnay in here. First out of the blocks are classical notes of cox apple, fresh quince and ground almond, but the intensity of 2012 gives us some headier flavours of kiwi, orange and apricot kernel without stepping too far from the sea-breeze freshness of the whole package. The lees ageing offers cushioning on a palate which otherwise cracks a whip of almost compressing intensity - its beautifully-woven acid and salty savour become quite addictive after a couple of sips. With time and acclimatisation comes a delicate, sappy sweetness - a gift from the lees-ageing I think. Delicacy and intensity in one - enjoy it fairly young I think. 93/100