Gratiot & Cie, "Almanach #4" Brut Champagne 2008

Pinot Meunier Blend|Aisne, Champagne

As you have come to expect, we're bringing the fire with this "grower Champagne" (made from their own land; no purchased fruit) from the estate of Gérard Gratiot. He and his family have farmed a scant 17 hectares of organically-farmed vines in the hamlet of Aisnes, part of the historic Vallée de la Marne subregion of Champagne since 1848. The Marne is known for its Pinots – both Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.

This is a unique cuvée you won't find anywhere else, showcasing those two Pinots with a generous addition of Chardonnay. The blend is 72% Pinot Meunier, 27% Chardonnay, 1% Pinot Noir;  100% from the 2008 vintage with a modestly low dosage of 5.6 grams.

A kiss of color in the glass and a garden full of aromas abound: jasmine, lavender, white raspberry, toasted bread, and chalk come together with seamless precision in a brisk, complex, enduring finish. Hand harvested fruit, fermented in stainless steel and aged sur lattes on its fine lees for seven years (!) before disgorging in April of 2015 and held at the estate for another year before release. Just a lovely grower Champagne that we're overjoyed to share with you! 2008 is widely considered one of the best vintages of the century thus far, and this cuvée holds court with the best of them.

The family estate was established in 1848, a wild time in history that saw the most widespread revolutions in European history. France's monarchy was overthrown and replaced with republican democracy; freedom-granting constitutions were ratified in Germany, Italy, and Austria; and King Frederick of Denmark instituted democratic reforms that persist to this day.

Fast forward to today, and Rémy Gratiot ands his wife Amélie run the operation, dedicated to sustainable, environmentally-forward principles, boutique cuvées, and long aging in the cellar – bottom line, they make some damn fine Champagne.

You won't find this bottle anywhere else on the planet. $55 for what's one of the best vintages of the decade seems almost too good to be true!

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