Champagne Gosset has launched its Celebris 2008. Speaking about the wine, chef de cave Odilon de Varine explained that instead of choosing traditional “perfect harvest years,” he favors vintages he shares “a special vibration with.”
Eschewing the typical vineyard focused approach, Varine concentrates specifically on taste. He meticulously blind tastes Champagnes, paying little attention to vineyard provenance. It’s a surprisingly modern approach for the cellar master of the oldest house in Champagne. “At Gosset, in order to push this style, all the wines are tasted blind before blending, we do not know where they come from,” he explained. “That is why sometimes the quality is there to make a Celebris, some special vibration, not each year.”
To characterize the 2008 vintage, Varine spoke of its “bonhomie – which for me is the main character for 2008. It was a cool year that was saved in September. We could save it because the grapes had enough freshness to accept this late maturity – that is why we are nearly the last to launch this vintage.
Celebris 2008 is made “mainly of Chardonnay, though less so than the other Celebris vintages” and no malolactic fermentation. Instead, the house relies on more than 10 years “feeding from the lees” for the wine to find its balance.
“At my age, time is important,” said de Varine. “And this wine needed time to take a roundness and to rest through each of the stages it went through.” He also pointed out the vintage’s vast potential for aging, noting “more time will only help.”
“This is just the eighth release of Celebris, 27 years after the first release in 1995 of the 1988 vintage,” explained Bertrand Verduzier, export director, Champagne Gosset. And this is the first time that Gosset has had two vintages – 2007 and 2008 – in a row. “The two wines are at complete opposites of the spectrum, despite sharing very similar technical specificities of the harvests,” said de Varine.
“Celebris is not a ‘recipe’ – it’s not a combination of ‘this place’, ‘this village’, ‘these grands crus,’” added Verduzier. “The wines are all blind tasted. We don’t know where they come from, grand cru, premier cru, whatever…”
Founded in Ay in 1584, Champagne Gosset is owned by the Renaud Cointreau family and is the oldest wine house in Champagne–though its a title often disputed with Ruinart.
Only 15,000 bottles of the Champagne Gosset Celebris 2008 were produced, and will be made available on June 21.
For more information, head over to the brand’s official website.