Michael Edwards dips a toe into a rare Gosset Celebris vertical to mark the release of the 2004 vintage...

October 5th 2016 in London saw several firsts for Gosset, the oldest surviving Champagne house.

Odilon de Varine, Gosset’s chef de cave, was here to showcase the latest arrival in their Celebris extra-brut prestige cuvée range, the 2004 – an exceptional year vying with the epic 2002 vintage.

The most riveting part of the day (and another first from Gosset) was the vertical tasting. The new 2004 vintage was followed by the 2002, 1998 1995, 1990, and 1988.

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Michael’s top 3 Celebris vintages:

Gosset, Celebris 1995

Gosset, Celebris, Champagne 1995

Still fresh and youthful at 21 years, with every scent reminiscent of a glorious summer: honeysuckle, hawthorn, lilac, a touch…

Points 97
Gosset, Celebris 1998

Gosset, Celebris, Champagne 1998

Elegant pale Welsh gold colour with green highlights. As the dosage is adjusted down to a very dry extra-brut you…

Points 95
Gosset, Celebris 2004

Gosset, Celebris, Champagne 2004

Pale straw green colour with a flowing, persistent small bubbled mousse. The nose is tight and contained , although with…

Points 93

De Varine was at pains to emphasise his attention to detail,

we are still a tiny house with an annual production of about 1 million bottles. What we can do, which Champagne houses 20 times our size often can’t, is to micro-monitor the élevage [rearing] of our wines as they mature in bottle on lees for 10/15 years’

He went on to point out that ‘non malo’ winemaking, preserving malic acid’s freshness and tension, is central to Gosset’s approach.

Ageing on lees is even more important for a long life and complexity, with De Varine hinting that character is everything for Celebris,

The bubbles are there to prevent oxidation, if I lose a little mousse but get more character, I’m happy. It’s the wine that matters’

It is fair to say that Celebris is not a ‘dance hall’ Champagne, but one for food.

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