The fact that the Maison Gonet-Médeville has just turned 20 years of age should not mislead us from the actual importance of this winery in Bisseuil, on the south-eastern side of the Montagne de Reims, in Champagne. The owner couple, Xavier Gonet and his wife Julie Médeville, are in fact the respective descendants of a famous family of Champagne winemakers (the Gonets) and a family with several properties in Bordeaux, including Château Gillette and Château Les justices (the Médeville). Having met at a tasting in Reims, Xavier and Julie married the following year and when, in 2000, they had to proceed to the division of the lands owned by Xavier’s grandfather, they took over 2 hectares, the first winery’s plot of land, mainly located in the 3 villages of Bisseuil, Ambonnay and Mesnil-sur-Oger. The land purchase policy then proceeded slowly, until the current extension of about 12 hectares, divided between 8 municipalities, 3 Grand Cru (Mesnil-Sur-Oger, Oger and Ambonnay) and 5 Premier Cru (Mareuil-Sur-Aÿ, Bisseuil, Billy Le Grand, Trépail and Vaudemange).
According to what the same couple tells, the choice of production style was born from the fact that Xavier and Julie agreed that the taste of Champagne of the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s had a much higher quality level than that of the following years. At the end of the day, the couple realized that, in order to reproduce the style of those old Champagnes, they had to start from the vineyards, abandoning modern chemical remedies (fungicides, fertilizers, herbicides, etc.) and returning to an organic approach. The result has been a “subtraction” viticulture that employs very few natural aids (such as manure-based fertilizer) and obliges the vines to dig deep into the chalky soil, looking for nutrients, producing a smaller amount of fruits of greater complexity. In this perspective, the work in the cellar has become the logical continuation of that in the vineyard, where wines are not clarified, filtered or cold decanted, in order to give back the taste of the bunch in its entirety.
The first Champagne produced was this Brut Tradition Premier Cru, still their business card, a classic assemblage composed mainly of Chardonnay (70%) with a little Pinot Noir (25%) and a residual balance of Pinot Meunier (5%) from the municipalities of Bisseuil (80%), Mesnil sur Oger (15%) and Mareuil-Sur-Aÿ (5%). After the manual harvest, the grapes, once pressed, are vinified in vats (70%) and barrels (30%), and in them, they age for 7 months; then the wine is bottled and spends 2 years in contact with the yeasts, before disgorging and closing with the mushroom cap.
My bottle, mainly composed of the 2012 vintage and disgorged in September 2016, has a quite intense straw yellow color, with a fine and abundant perlage, and a range of hints that opens on notes of lemon peel, red currant, linden flower and peach in syrup, with a side of strawberry tree honey, kumquat and brioche, and echoes of toasted hazelnut and burnt bone. The taste is immediately creamy, thanks to the abundant perlage, with a good gustatory concentration and a sparkling and refreshing citrus acidity that is the background to the return, retro-olfactory, of the ripe yellow fruit and the burnt bone, present until the good length and persistence closure.
Want to find out what I can do for you? Click here!