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2008 Philippe Gonet "Cuvée Belemnita" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne SKU #1433361

Price: $149.99

DC 93
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Professional Reviews

K&L Notes

This wine comes from one plot of Chardonnay in the world famous village of Mesnil, a plot planted by the great grandfather of Chantal and Pierre Gonet (the current proprietors) back in 1929. The vines go deep into the Belemnita soil that gives this cuvée its name, the best chalk in all of Champagne, full of fossilized shellfish, many of which are now extinct, but so common in Mesnil that you can fill your pockets with them after a short tour of the vineyard. This wine is the product of a single press load- only 2700 bottles were made, and we received just 10 cases. The wine was fermented in stainless steel, and dosed very low at 3 grams per liter. Although labeled as an extra brut, this wine is perfectly balanced and not at all austere as the richness given by the ancient vines needs little in the way of sugar. -Gary Westby, K&L

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Staff Reviews

  • Tim Telli
    By: Tim Telli
    1/23/2021
    K&L Staff Member
    Having grown up amongst the chalk hills of the South Downs in Southern England, I am very familiar with chalk. Belemnita is named after a type of chalk that is full of belemnites, a type of fossil. Slightly toasty nose with huge complexity. The chalk soils obviously provide plenty of minerality to the wine. Lip-smacking acidity on the finish, like licking chalk. Almost like a sparkling Chablis! While this offers immediate pleasure now, it is still a young wine that shows youthful promise, and I would love to lay some down for another 10 years for additional complexity. Pair this with Lobster and other richer seafood and you will be very happy.
  • Lilia McIntosh
    By: Lilia McIntosh
    1/23/2021
    K&L Staff Member
    The complexity of this champagne is stunning and makes it's so intriguing to drink. It changes like a chameleon. At first you get intense mineral and chalk notes, then as it breaths it gains more of a honey and soft citrus notes along with a touch of flowers and brioche. Mesmerizing and captivating Champagne to drink and ponder about and also a great wine to pair with seafood as well.
  • Gary Westby
    By: Gary Westby
    1/21/2021
    K&L Staff Member
    We had this with a salmon dinner in our garden, and it worked as wonderfully with the food as it did for the aperitif before sitting down. With 12 years of age, this 2008 is loaded with toasted brioche aromas. In the mouth, it is a clinic on Belemnita chalkiness, but doesn’t go over the line into austerity thanks to the white fruit of the perfect vintage and the bready fullness given by the time on the lees. The finish is as long as they come with a true peacocks tail of complexity. The lifted acidity promises that this will age for decades to come, if you have a cellar that is far away from your home refrigerator! I know it is going to be hard for me to keep my hands of the few bottles that I have bought!
    Drink from 2021 to 2048
  • Alex Schroeder
    By: Alex Schroeder
    1/21/2021
    K&L Staff Member
    Belemnita chalk is the richest in ancient seabed fossils, and that is the type of chalk upon which this single-vineyard, single-vintage Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs is grown. It provides the perfect mineral nuance and texture to match the ripeness and high-acid nature of the vintage. Perfectly integrated flavors of creme brulée, lemon meringue, orange peel, nutmeg, minerals and smoke complement the lovely rich texture and incredibly long, acid-driven finish on this once-in-a-lifetime offering from master producer Philippe Gonet.

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