Represented by Odilon de Varine & Bertrand Verduzier
Founded in Aÿ in 1584, Gosset is the oldest wine-producing house in Champagne, although back in the 16th century they were of course making still wines rather than sparkling. Remarkably, the house was in the hands of the Gosset family for 16 generations: the first historical mention of the Gosset family is of Jean Gosset, Seigneur d'Aÿ, in 1531. In 1584, Jean’s grandson, Pierre Gosset, was appointed mayor of Aÿ, and at this time it is documented that he owned vineyards and produced wines, and also that his wines were sold in both Paris and Brussels. Pierre’s descendants continued to produce wine and expand the business all the way up until December of 1993, when Antoine Gosset sold the house to the Cointreau family, owners of the Cognac house Pierre Frapin. Béatrice Cointreau managed Gosset until 2007, when her brother Jean-Pierre Cointreau took over, and throughout this time the wines have continued to be made by chef de cave Jean-Pierre Mareigner, who has been with Gosset for the past 25 years. In the fall of 2009, Gosset moved across the river to the old Malakoff cellars in Epernay, after being in the village of Aÿ for over 400 years. The house still retains its cellars in Aÿ, but all of the winemaking is now done in the new facilities.
Gosset owns only a small amount of vines today, purchasing for the vast majority of its needs, and the house always sources grapes from the same 45 villages each year, with each village vinified and stored separately in the cellar to preserve its identity of character. Only the cuvée, or first pressing, is used, and one of the signatures of the Gosset style is that with the exception of the non-vintage Excellence, none of the wines go through malolactic. In selected cases, certain wines might be aged in old wooden barrels for a few months, but this is used very sparingly, and fermentation is never carried out in wood. The wines are aged on their lees for a reasonably long period of time: usually four years for the Grande Réserve and Grand Rosé, and longer for the vintage wines, with the exact duration depending on the vintage and the individual wine. Aside from the Excellence, all of the riddling is done by hand, due to the peculiar and distinctive shape of Gosset’s bottle, based on an 18th-century design.
Information courtesy of Peter Liem's ChampagneGuide.net ©