Gonet-Médeville & Marie Copinet

Spring done sprung since our last installment of Champagne Club, and other than the weather, most of the  traditional indicia have arrived rite (sorry) on schedule. Spring training is over,  the full not-a-drill season is mid-swing, and that got me free associating: Of the 5-10 video cassettes in my childhood VCR rotation, one was the movie Field of Dreams, and there’s this part where James Earl Jones, backed by strings and the ghosts of old outfielders, intones: “The one constant throughout the years, Ray, has been baseball” - but I kinda think it might be Champagne?  After all, Champagne is older than baseball, more ubiquitous (celebration libation of the entire sportsball world) and doesn’t require periodic rule changes like pitch and batting clocks, starting the 10th with runner on 2nd etc, to speed up the spritz. 

Quite the opposite in fact: methode traditionelle is still what sells, and the demand for rarified bubbly remains high despite ever-rising prices. Indeed, from what we hear,  distributors are having difficulty finding new vignerons in the region with affordable bottlings not already on US shelves. The two producers we are featuring this month are thus old favorites both, but in slightly different guises. Each cuvee is new to our store and club and represents incredible quality for the cost. Pop either at your next Printemps get-together and people will most definitely come, Ray.  

Gonet-Médeville is a grower champagne house located in Bisseuil, within the Marne Valley region, which is famous for their exceptionally pure chalky soil. Founded in 2000, and comprising just 12 hectares, it is the happy product of the professional and personal marriage of Julie and Xavier Gonet-Médeville, scions of two famous French winemaking families. Julie’s is famous for its incomparable Chateau Gilette, an iconic Sauternes estate in Bordeaux dating back to 1870;  Xavier comes from a long line of Champagne growers in Le Mesnil.  Gonet-Médeville is  part of the group Les Artisans du Champagne, which prides itself on uniting work in the vineyard with work in the cellar. As Julie and Xavier themselves say, “being Champagne Artisans expresses our total involvement in all stages the production of our Champagnes. From growing practices to the choice of plant material, from harvest to disgorging, we come in and create living Champagnes reflecting our knowledge and culture.” The resulting wines are elegant, delicate, festive, and easy to drink.

 Champagne Marie Copinet is likewise the progeny of a married couple, both with deep roots in Champagne. In 1956, Alexandre Kowal’s grandparents inherited some vines and created their own brand in the village of Cuchery, on the right bank of the Marne valley. Marie-Laurie Copinet’s father Jacques started out working for Taittinger and selling his own fruit, from his vineyards in the tiny village of Montgenost (pop. 140)  to Moet,  before founding the family estate winery in 1975. Today, Alexandre is the cellar-master at Copinet, and together he and Marie have utilized their combined experience in the area to blaze a singular trail. They make their own non-flavored dosage for all their bottlings, and designed and built a custom stainless steel egg-shaped fermenter, the first in Champagne, the shape of which allows the lees to circulate without stirring and, unlike the more common concrete eggs, doesn’t sacrifice acidity to do so. The 2013 Monsieur Leonard, is the Tête du Cuvée (“top batch”)  from the best Chardonnay lots of 2013. It is spends about 8 years on lees, was disgorged in 2022, and is a very small production (around 250 cases). We are thrilled to feature it this month, alongside the Gonet-Médeville


PlumpJack Wine Team 

Gonet-Médeville Brut 1er Cru Tradition

From: FRANCE • Champagne • Vallee de la Marne

About the Winery:  In 2000, when his family’s plots in Champagne were being divided, Xavier opted for a modest collection of the highest quality 1er and Grand Cru vineyards with a goal of producing only the most exquisite, small-production Champagnes. Champagne Gonet-Médeville’s Pinot Noir (1er Cru Bisseuil and Grand Cru Ambonnay) and Chardonnay (Grand Cru Mesnil-Sur-Oger) are farmed organically, and each parcel is vinified separately to emphasize its individual terroir. There is no chaptalization, malolactic fermentation, or fining, and dosage is minute. The wines are matured for a minimum of two years before release.

Assemblage/Vinification:  The grapes are gently pressed and racked into thermoregulated vats. Fermentation in stainless steel (90%) and old casks (10%). No chaptalization, no malolactic fermentation, no fining for their wines. Matured in bottle for two years. 70% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir, 5% Pinot Meunier. 

Tasting notes: A firm version, with an airy mousse and a light toast to flavors of black currant, oyster shell, lemon zest and sliced almond, backed by vibrant acidity that lingers on the creamy finish.

Winemaker:  Julie and Xavier Gonet Medeville 

Price per bottle / Price per case: $47/$507.60

Suggested Food Pairing:

Seafood Pasta Dishes 

Fried Chicken 

French Fries 

Sushi And Sashimi

Marie Copinet ‘Monsieur Leonard’ 2013

From: FRANCE • Champagne •, Vallée de la Marne

About the Winery: Like all Récoltants Manipulant, this grower Champagne house only allows Marie-Laure Copinet and her husband Alexandre Kowal to create wines that purely reflect their estate’s terroir. With the same chalky dolomite soils of Epernay and Reims that retain very little water and create grapes of great concentration, the mean temperature is 51°F, actually colder than Vancouver, Canada. With this very cool climate, the Vin Claire (once-fermented juice) has astronomical acidity, ensuring wines that are gracefully cellar-worthy. Their 16.5 acres are within the village of Montgenost, mostly south-facing slopes and planted primarily to Chardonnay.

Assemblage/Vinification: Dosage: Hand-harvested before sunrise, then rigorously table-sorted at the estate before pressing within the hour, the wines have no oxidative quality. Using only the free-run and first press, yield is only 400 pounds of juice from 2,000 pounds of grapes. Primary fermentation in concrete tanks, bottle fermentation and aging all take place in the frigid 45°F cellar, temperatures that slow the fermentation for maximum aromatics and complexity. Dosage is always unflavored and only 5-6 g/L. Using the first egg-shaped Stainless Steel fermenter in winemaking (they had it custom-made to keep acidity bright) they bring subtle richness to their cuvees, using tank convection currents to gently stir the lees (without using oak or the more vigorous battonage technique).

Tasting notes:  Grapefruit zest. Energetic and bright with mineral, spring flowers and white peach fruit linked to a medium texture. Nervous yet seductive, with minerality framing the finish of Brioche. Brioche richness and leesy, croissant quality.

Winemaker:  Marie-Laurie and Alexandre Copinet

Price per bottle / Price per case:


Suggested Food Pairing:

Creamy Mushroom Soup

Macaroni and Cheese


Dover Sole 

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