The history starts back in 1802, when Charles Gonet creates his own champagne house. For many years, the house is going to grow under the name “Gonet and Sons”. More than half a century later, in 1935, Michel Gonet was born with dysphasia (blocked oesophagus). The anecdote says he was given a sip of champagne to be able to breath… he will say later “the champagne saved my life”. That marked the beginning of a immense passion for wine.
As the firstborn, Michel leaves the family estate to let some space for his brothers. He moves a few kilometers further with his wife Annie where he builds a new cellar. He will continuously improve the quality of the wine and the cellar. His only goal was to recreate pure and environmentally aware champagnes.
In 2011, pushed by the desire to share the family champagne, Sophie — Michel´s daughter — brings the house in the heart of Epernay, at number 37 of the famous Avenue de Champagne, declared in 2015 as World heritage by UNESCO. The Villa Signolle will become a must-see for the champagne lovers. We had the privilege to visit Villa Signolle and the garden around it where we tasted up to nine different cuvées, having a fantastic experience. We will dedicate an entire post to this amazing visit!
But let’s focus now on this superb Grand Cru cuvée: Michel Gonet Blanc de Blancs millésime 2005 “Élevé en fût de Chêne” (matured in oak barrel), the result of an experiment made by Sophie Gonet in 2004. The first time we enjoyed it was during a Michelin-star lunch in Santander city (Restaurante El Serbal). Then, the same cuvée accompanied us twice in Madrid: firstly at another high category restaurant, A’Barra, and then at a high class cocktail bar, Angelita. The 4th and last time we tasted it at our place. Even if we had the pleasure to enjoy it four times, it doesn’t mean it’s an easy to find bottle. Just the opposite: it’s almost impossible to find it on market now, not even the auction sites. There was/is only a little chance to find this gem lost in the cellar of a small wine shop or of a fine restaurant.
Let’s see the tasting commentary of this cuvée. Firstly, we have to confess that not all the 4 bottles we tasted had the same characteristics, mainly due to the disgorgement date or the tasting environment. All wines, including Champagne, are dependent on the tasting environment: sea, mountain, city etc. can influence the tastings, especially when talking about certain vintage Champagne. In this case, there were many nose and palate similarities, were the only clear variable was the intensity of the wine. On the nose we noticed white flowers, followed by vanilla and caramel, peach, cinnamon, toasted bread, butter, cookies, white chocolate, nougat and white mushrooms. On the palate it impressed us with a pleasant creamy structured texture and a perfectly balanced acidity. The bubbles were always present and the wine needs some time to completely open after the cork is removed. The aftertaste is long, inviting and sensual. If you are the lucky owner of this cuvée this is the time to enjoy it as we think it reached its maturity peak.
|Type of champagne||Brut|
|Vintage||2005 “élevé en fût de chêne”|
|Degorgement||different per bottle|
|Aged||sur lies at least 3 years|
|Number of bottles||N/A|
|Price range (euro)||80-100 (based on what we paid, but it can go up to 150 as it is extremely rare)|
|Chef de Caves||Antoine Gomerieux (current), Michel Gonet and his daughter Sophie (2005)|
|Other considerents||malolactic fermentation|