Gaston Chiquet represents the premier expression of the Grande Vallee de la Marne. This small grower producer, now run by the eighth generation of the family, uses Meunier as the predominant grape in several cuvees and produces one of only two blanc de blancs from the Pinot Noir village of Ay. The wines display an excellent combination of depth, freshness and elegance. Terry Theise, the well-known fine wine importer, calls them “chiseled and articulate.”
912 Avenue du General Leclerc, Dizy +33 3 26 55 22 02
The wines from Gaston Chiquet are some of the best expressions of the Grande Vallee de la Marne to be found. The terroir of their vineyards provides an inherent complexity, partnered with a freshness that allows the wines a surprising degree of longevity.
Gaston Chiquet Brut Selection (or Carte Blanche)
60% Meunier, 25% Pinot Noir, 15% Chardonnay from vines with an average age of 23 years. Vinified in temperature controlled tanks and aged for around two years on the lees. Dosage is 8g/L.
Gaston Chiquet Brut Tradition
40% Meunier, 35% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir from Grand and Premier Cru sites with an average vine age of 25 years. Vinified by parcel in temperature controlled tanks, with full malolactic, and aged on the lees for 2½-4 years. Dosage is 8g/L.
Gaston Chiquet Blanc de Blancs d’Ay
100% Chardonnay from Grand Cru vineyards in Ay. A very unusual wine and one of only two made from 100% Chardonnay in Ay. It is a non-vintage cuvee meant to convey the terroir, not the character of a specific year. Each plot is vinified separately in temperature controlled tanks and goes through full malolactic fermentation. The wine ages on the lees for an average of 3 years. Dosage is 8g/L.
Gaston Chiquet Rose
40% Meunier, 30% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir from Grand and Premier Cru sites, including 18% still red wine. Each plot is vinified separately in temperature controlled tanks and goes through full malolactic fermentation. The wine is bottled 4-6 months after the harvest. Dosage is 9g/L.
Gaston Chiquet Cuvee de Reserve 1er Cru
40% Meunier, 35% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir from Grand and Premier Cru vineyards. Initially created to celebrate the millennium, the Chiquets decided to continue making it. Since 2004 it has been the same blend as the Tradition, but with longer ageing. Each plot is vinified separately in temperature controlled tanks and goes through full malolactic fermentation. The wine is aged on the lees for five years. Dosage is 8g/L.
Gaston Chiquet Vintage
In the 2004 vintage, the cepage was 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay from vines with an average age of 27 years. Each plot is vinified separately in temperature controlled tanks and goes through full malolactic fermentation. The wine is aged on the lees for a minimum of five years. Dosage is 8g/L.
Gaston Chiquet Special Club
70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir. Gaston Chiquet has been part of the Club Tresor de Champagne since its inception in 1971. Grapes for this prestige cuvee are sourced mainly from Ay and Mareuil-sur-Ay, sometimes with the addition of fruit from Dizy and Hautvillers. The parcels are vinified separately in temperature controlled tanks and go through full malolactic fermentation. The wine is aged on the lees for a minimum of seven years. Dosage is 8g/L.
Ancestors of Gaston Chiquet have been winegrowers since 1746. But it was not until 1919 that Gaston and his brother Fernand made the bold and (at the time) rare move to stop selling grapes to the negociants in favour of bottling their own wine. Initially, the wines were labeled as Chiquet Freres, but in 1935 Gaston parted company with his brother and started his own company, Gaston Chiquet. His brother’s arm of the business, Chiquet Freres, became Chiquet Pere et Fils, and three decades later would purchase the house of Jacquesson.
In the meantime, Gaston and his son Claude enlarged their vineyard holdings in the regions of Ay, Cumieres and Hautvillers. Today the business is run by Claude’s two sons, Antoine (who joined in 1982) and Nicolas (in 1991). They are proud to continue the traditions of their forefathers while striving constantly to improve techniques, practices and overall quality. The house is best known for producing a blanc de blancs from Chardonnay from the Pinot Noir village of Ay.
Gaston Chiquet’s 23 hectares of vines are spread across several Grand and Premier Cru villages including Dizy (where the winery and family home are located), Ay, Mareuil-sur-Ay and Hautvillers. Small parcels can also be found in the Vallee de l’Ardre and Vallee de L’Aisne. Plantings are divided between the three traditional grape varieties, comprising 40% each of Chardonnay and Meunier, and 20% to Pinot Noir.
The vines are farmed using sustainable viticulture, which pursues the health of the land and respect for the environment as top priorities. In the cellar the grapes are pressed using a traditional Coquard press, which the Chiquet brothers credit for preserving the freshness and varietal character of the grapes.
Each parcel is vinified separately. The must is fermented in concrete or glass-lined tanks, something Claude introduced in the 1950s to help convey a refinement to the wines. No oak is used for any of the cuvees. They feel that the terroir already endows the wines with sufficient body and character, and oak would make them too heavy. All the wines go through malolactic fermentation, and progressively lower levels of dosage are being used to reflect the improving quality and ripeness of the grapes.
The non-vintage wines age on their lees for 2-3 years. The vintage wines see as much as 6-10 years of maturation in the underground caves, some of which date back to the 18th century.