N.V. Pierre Gerbais "Grains de Celles" Extra Brut, Champagne, France (750ml)
This ‘Grains de Celles’ cuvée is a blend of 50% Pinot Noir, 25% Pinot Blanc and 25% Chardonnay from a selection of the estate’s greatest sites which are mostly planted in the same Kimmeridgian soils of marl and limestone that one finds in Chablis and Sancerre. It was aged in bottle for 3 years before disgorgement with 3 grams per liter dosage, making it an Extra Brut.
It is a lovely, delicious wine with a nice creamy texture and a great expression of all three grape varietals. The 'Pinot' character from the Noir and Blanc come through primarily on the nose with aromas of red & yellow apple and pear while the crispness of the Chardonnay shows on the very fresh finish with excellent balancing acidity. It is very well balanced and rather friendly for an Extra Brut, as many with such a low dosage can come off a bit austere. Not the case here - as it is an easy drinking, versatile Champagne at a very friendly price! Pierre Gerbais' uncle, Ulysse was the first in the family to plant roots in the village of Celles-sur-Ource, in the Aube (the southern-most part of the Champagne region closer to Chablis) when he returned home after fighting in WWII. Pierre officially established the family Champagne house after learning the ropes from his uncle and father, André. Pierre is still very involved with the business however his son, Pascal now runs the domaine with his son, Aurélien, who is the young 23 year old winemaker. The domaine has been farmed essentially organically since 1996 when it obtained the Ampelos certification which allows for one chemical treatment in a year should it be deemed necessary, yet the Gerbais’ have never done had to. Today the estate covers a total of 18 hectares of vines with 10 planted to Pinot Noir, 4 to Chardonnay and 4 to Pinot Blanc, which is also commonly planted in the Aube.