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Gosset Celebris 2012 a ‘palette of Chardonnays’, says cellarmaster

The chaotic 2012 growing season in Champagne may have been a nightmare for vignerons, but it was a dream for blenders, according to Gosset Celebris’s cellarmaster Odilon de Varine.

Speaking at the London launch of the latest iteration of Gosset’s flagship wine, Gosset Celebris Vintage 2012, cellarmaster Odilon de Varine said: “I think 2012 is close to 2002 – in my opinion, it is at the moment the most interesting, the most balanced year in the 2010s decade.”

Challenges in the vineyard included frosts in early May and hail in June, creating significant variations in flowering times between grape varieties and locations.

“I am very sorry for the vine growers, but we have to thank nature for giving us so many differences in 2012, giving us so many things to work with,” said de Varine.

“The harvest lasted for more than one month, and the yield was not huge, but with wonderful alcohol potential and excellent acidity… I love working on the lees, and we had plenty of time to do that, because it was a very long winemaking process.”

Because of the drawn-out harvest, de Varine was able to ferment the Pinot Noir must on the Chardonnay lees – as he did, for example, in 2007.

“I like doing it because I think it takes some phenolics and colour from the Pinots and makes them more elegant and fine. But we need to have the time to be able to do it – for the Chardonnay to ripen early enough and finish the winemaking.”

Gosset Celebris Vintage 2012 is a blend of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir – the ninth release since the first vintage in 1988, and the first since the 2008.

“Of course, it’s a Chardonnay-driven wine, because 2012 was a wonderful year for Chardonnay,” said de Varine. “We had different Chardonnays coming from early in the harvest and later in the harvest – so a real palette of Chardonnays.

“You have the Pinot Noir in the depth, and in the mid-palate. If you want the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to express, you need both, depending on the year. But in 2012, if you had more Pinot Noir in the blend, the Chardonnay would totally disappear.”

Gosset Celebris Vintage 2012 is available via Louis Latour Agencies, with stockists TBC and a likely RRP of £210.

Only 25,000 bottles are available worldwide. The wine is packaged in an “environmentally conscious” gift box made from sustainably managed and FSC-certified French ash, lined with black paper and held together by cardboard hinges.

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