Champagne Henri Giraud

In 1584, Pierre Gosset, alderman and winegrower of Aÿ, was selling still wines, usually red, from his own vineyards. At the time, two wines were competing for a place at the table of the King of France: the wines of Aÿ and the wines of Beaune a few hundred leagues to the south. Both were made from the same noble grape varieties: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The reputation of the wines of Aÿ was such that François I installed a harvesting room there, which today belongs to the family Gosset. Then, in the 18th century, Aÿ and the wines of the region became sparkling. Today, part of the aging process is still carried out in oak barrels for the vintages in old bottles, reproducing in their entirety the bottles used by Champagne Gosset in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Champagne House Gosset

The Tradition Gosset

For more than four centuries, everything has been done to continue the know-how of the family craft in the elaboration of our champagne.

In 1584, Pierre Gosset, alderman and winegrower of Aÿ, produced still wine, often red, with the harvest of his own vines.

At the time, two wines were competing for a place on the table of the King of France: the wines of Aÿ, and Beaune a few hundred leagues further south. Both were made from the same noble grape varieties: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

In the 18th century, Aÿ and the wines of the region became sparkling. Today, the vintages are still bottled in old bottles, an exact replica of the one used by Champagne GOSSET since the 18th century.

Malolactic fermentation is carefully avoided in order to preserve the malic acid which restores the naturally fruity aroma of the Champagnes.

A unique 18th century bottle century as an emblem

Around 1760, Jean GOSSET used for the first time what would later become the logo of the House of GOSSET: the antique bottle. This slender bottle, with its rounded sides and ultimate elegance, is an exclusive model in the family's old bottle collection. Its nickname is due to the "antique glass" color of the glass paste used in its composition.

The bottles used for the House's Cuvées Antiques are now faithful reproductions, with models featuring a distinctive champagne-colored collar for quick identification. Today, this vintage bottle is available in half-bottles, bottles, magnums and jeroboams.

The History of the Champagne House Gosset

Gosset has been making wine in Aÿ since the 16th century. Until the advent of the resistant glass, it was probably only still wine. Four hundred and thirty years later, this elegant artisanal house continues to prosper with its new owner...

Dom Pérignon (1638-1715) was far from being born when, in 1584, Pierre Gosset founded his business in the village of Ay located a few steps from the abbey and, at the time, more famous for its wines than was Hautvillers. Moreover, François I (who proclaimed himself "king of Aÿ and Gonesse", famous for its flour) and King Henry VIII of England had cellars in its basement !

Why then let Ruinartwhy then let the company, which only appeared in 1729, one hundred and forty-five years later, claim the title of " First House of Champagne"? It is all a question of precision: Gosset is the first "Wine House" and, until we find testimonies to the contrary, we must admit that it only produced still wines. It is not so much that Ruinart is able to prove that his House has been making sparkling champagne from day one, but, according to Jean-Pierre Cointreau, current director: "There is a very precise agreement between the two Houses." Agreement that they respect to the letter

As with almost all the Houses born before the 19th century, no one bothered to record the moment when they switched from still wine to sparkling wine - if they did, the records have long since disappeared. Remarkably for the family Gosset, when one considers that the Napoleonic Code required that the inheritance be divided among all descendants, one Gosset was still in charge in 1994

It is Étienne Gosset. His father used the proceeds from the sale of Rochas perfumes, of which he was a majority partner, to regain control of the House. However, with sixteen generations since Pierre's time, the vineyards are scattered among a veritable army of cousins. By 1985, the House itself owned only ten hectares, especially since it had made an excellent deal by selling some of its best sites to Krugthe company had made a good deal by selling some of its best sites to a third party, ten years earlier, when production had barely reached 250,000 bottles

In 1994, when the Renauld Cointreau group, the current owner, took over the company, it only owned one hectare of vineyards. of course, from a financial point of view, it is preferable to own vineyards," explains Jean-Pierre Cointreau, "but Champagne is a blend of different grapes from different areas, and we work with 140 wine growers, some of whom have been supplying Gosset for three generations. The beauty of not owning vineyards is that it gives you the diversity to create exactly the blend you want."

The Cointreau family also owns Frapin Cognac, and although outsiders to the region, they have maintained perfect continuity since the days of Etienne Gosset in the presence of cellar master, Jean-Pierre Mareigner. This native of Aÿ, who joined Gosset in 1983 at the age of 27, will spend almost his entire career there. Before him, his father had been a vineyard steward. In any case, Mareigner was very close to the winemakers: "He knew how to select the best grapes, the best juice, and he knew the people who grew the best bunches," said Peter McKinley, the firm's former British importer, when Mareigner died in 2016. "What's especially sad for Champagne Gosset, is that Jean-Pierre was the memory of the family, the memory of the company."

He will be hard to replace, but as he planned to retire in 2017, he had already surrounded himself with a crack team. Gosset remains a family-owned house, although production has climbed to nearly 1.1 million bottles. Since 2009 and the purchase in Laurent-Perrier of an impressive cellar in Epernay, next to Pol Roger, the future looks bright for development

As a result, Gosset now enjoys space and can age its most prestigious vintages on lees as much as it wants. About 40 percent of the production qualifies as "Grande Réserve" and, like all of Gosset's wines, is presented in a Champagne bottle that is based on a 16th-century model.

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