A Champagne de Terroir Icon

For the past forty-five years, a handful of elite Champagne growers have belonged to the “Special Club.” And they have been responsible for some of the most extraordinary vintage-dated grower Champagnes in recent history.

So rigorous are the club’s standards that currently only 29 growers—out of about 5,000 in the appellation—belong. These requirements, applied to the member’s holdings in some of the region’s finest sites, have resulted in Special Club bottlings that are not only consistently of the highest quality, but are also unique expressions of each grower’s signature terroir.

And the club’s master of the Côte des Blancs is Pierre Gimonnet, whose superb “Grands Terroirs de Chardonnay” Special Club bottling is sourced from the domaine’s oldest vines in the top villages of Cramant, Chouilly and Cuis.  

It is consistently a Champagne of exceptional concentration, vibrant minerality and deep nuance. And it is prized by connoisseurs as one of the greatest expressions of Côte des Blancs terroir.

The 2010 is a prime example. But, limited by its strict selection of ancient vine, top terroir fruit, it is incredibly scarce in the market. 

A Historic Domaine

Gimonnet’s Special Club is prized by the grower Champagne cognoscente as the perfect embodiment of the domaine’s guiding principles of “precision, purity and minerality.”

Of course, they’ve had a long time to perfect their approach: the family have been Côtes des Blancs growers since 1750, and it was Pierre Gimonnet, for whom the domaine is named, that began bottling his own production in 1935.

Today, Pierre’s grandsons Didier and Olivier are in charge of an estate boasting one of the greatest collections of old vine sites in the Côte des Blancs, and the foundation is Gimonnet’s holdings in the Grand Cru village of Cramant, where the vines date back to 1911. 

As Didier told Champagne Guide’s Tyson Stelzer, “Without a doubt, the best of our domains are in Cramant. I compare Cramant with lace, it is precise and delicate with an interesting, chalky minerality and it has a concentration but is not heavy.”

This character is exactly what is found in Gimonnet’s Special Club, based on their best old-vine Cramant fruit, masterfully blended with their top lots from Chouilly and Cuis.

This is a unique and complete Champagne: deeply concentrated, endlessly complex and wonderfully creamy. Yet, it is also uncannily elegant and light on its feet, and promises even greater nuance with further bottle age.

If you love great Champagne de terroir, especially from the Côtes des Blancs, you want this in your cellar.

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