Pierre Gerbais Grains de Celles is a distinctively aromatic and stunning Champagne. A blend comprised of 25% Pinot Blanc, 50% of Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay from vines averaging 35 years. The base wine is from the 2018 vintage, with a dosage of 5g/L. Aged on its lees in bottle for 30 months.
The Pinot Blanc in Pierre Gerbais seems to add a Riesling like complexity and lift to the wine. There is plenty of acid and phenolic grip on the mid-weight palate, which gets overlooked because it is so pretty. I think Pierre Gerbais is delicious. I’d have Pierre Gerbais with a mushroom dish as I think the contrast would really hit it off.
No need to age Pierre Gerbais any longer, my clued in customers buy a few bottles at a time and drink them as the mood suits (it is never long between re-orders!).
Pierre Gerbais Grains de Celles Celles-sur-Ource Champagne NV, and all wines are eligible for at least 5% off any six bottles. And 10% off any 12 bottles. Some wines will be at a more significant discount and not subject to further discounts.
Pierre Gerbais is located in the Cote des Bars where Pinot Noir reigns supreme. 18ha is grown by a family who has generations of experience on hand. Ampelos certified Pierre Gerbais stick closely to organic principles, only diverging on treating mildew. In 2019 I visited Pierre Gerbais, it was our first visit on the tour, and it set a very high bar. Not only for the amazing wine they craft, but we were given the best explanation of the history of Champagne and a stunning tour of their vineyard holdings which included a chat about the future of Champagne too. I can highly recommend Pierre Gerbais Champagne.
Pierre Gerbais Grains de Celles Celles-sur-Ource Champagne NV Wine Review
“Based in Celles-sur-Ource in the Seine Valley on the Côte des Bar, this producer’s nonvintage wine is ripe despite its dry extra brut dosage. With the unusual proportion of 25% Pinot Blanc in the blend, it is smooth and soft, finishing with just the right tangy acidity and a steely texture. Drink now.”
Part of the Aube district where the soils types and indeed geographically they closer to Chablis and Burgundy than the traditional Champagne profile. The limestone base and continental climate make it perfect for Pinot Noir.
A wine region of France approximately 160km East of Paris. It is also the name of the wines produced from the area. Most famously, it is a sparkling wine that undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle and aging on lees (the dead yeast cells). Although there is the occasional still wine, you can find around particularly Pinot Noir. The fantastically named Bouzy Rouge is one such example. There are very few single vintage, single vineyard, single variety Champagnes. I can only name one – Salon. And it was produced only 47 times between 1900 and 1999. Why? Due to the large area, the region covers and the challenging weather the houses blended wines to produce a consistent and reliable product every year. This is where the growers come in. They relish the chance to show off vintage variation and small plot wines.
These wines are based on one vintage but will contain ‘Reserve Wine’. Reserve wine old stocks that they keep specifically to blend into the Non-Vintage wine. The purpose is to have a consistent and reliable drink every time someone buys their NV. NV Champagne must spend 12 months on lees at a minimum and 15 months in the bottle before releases. Most quality houses age their Champagne for much longer than that to achieve the desired level of Autolysis.
The NV style came to be as a way to use the grapes that weren’t perfectly ripe. Champagne was so marginal of climate that it was unlikely they would get a drinkable wine every. Holding on to that wine and blending it across multiple vintages allowed them to use the grapes and make an agreeable style.
This is the most elusive grape. It is relatively early ripening and extremely sensitive to terroir. Its perfect place on earth is the Cote d’Or in Burgundy. So haunting are great red Burgundy’s charms that growers everywhere try to emulate them. Pinot Noir is not just a one-trick pony; it can make great reds, rosé, sparkling and even sweet wines, whites on occasion and I’ve tasted a decent fortified Pinot Noir too. Adding body, perfume and richness to Champagne it also adds red berry and floral/rose petal notes along with spice and subtle layers.
The grape that you can plant anywhere, in any climate and do anything to and it will still taste like an OK wine. When people hit the sweet spot of site, climate, cropping and winemaking, Chardonnay becomes a magical wine that will age gracefully but charm you at any age. Chardonnays can range from cool-climate lean and citrusy to warmer climate tropical and overt. Oak and lees can add flavouring as can malolactic fermentation. In a Champagne context, Chard can add mineral flavours, stone fruits and acidity along with some weight of fruit.
Its spiritual home is Alsace but these vines have travelled the world. In Alsace it is often blended with the other Pinot family members to make a full bodied, easy drinking white. Generally not as complex as the other Pinots but the best are amazing. AKA Weissburgunder.
The land that some many New World (not European) wine producers look to emulate. To generalise about French wine, I would say it is savoury, lighter-bodied wines. They are the definition of elegant, complex. There are many styles, though. And there is a French wine for every palate. They lead the world in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Burgundy. Sparkling Wine in Champagne. Cabernet and Merlot in Bordeaux. Syrah(Shiraz) and Grenache in the Rhone Valley. Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris in Alsace. Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley. Gamay in Beaujolais.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is special. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
Fizz, bubby, bubbles. It is a wine with bubbles in it. There are many ways to put the bubbles in, and many styles and flavours you can find. Important to know that you should never buy cheap Sparkling. Champagne is still the quality leader of the world. But great Sparkling can be found in Moscato (sweet), Prosecco, Franciacorta (Italy), Cava (Spain), Australia, New Zealand, Loire Valley and Burgundy Cremant (France).
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I, Phil, have been running The Wine Depository since 2011. The Wine Depository exists to make sure you are drinking the good wines. You can browse and pick what is interesting to you. Or you can make contact with me. I’ll make sure you get what you want, to your palate, to your budget and to your door.