2002 Thienot "La Vigne aux Gamins" Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne

SKU #1128578 94 points Wine Enthusiast

 A concentrated, dense wine, this is round and rich with fresh apple flavor, but also a hint of maturity—a touch of cookie and almonds on the finish. This is an impressive wine, full of flavor and great concentration.  (12/ 2013)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Hints of marzipan and gumdrop add richness to the flavors of patisserie apple, lemon curd, smoke and honeycomb in this firm, well-cut version. Offers a finely detailed bead and a lasting finish, with a hint of blanched almond. Drink now through 2025.  (11/ 2013)

K&L Notes

This rarity comes from a miniscule one and a quarter acre plot of the Thienot estate in the Grand Cru of Avize called the Vigne aux Gamins near the border with Oger. The vines were planted in the 1950s and are massal selected rather than clones. This wine blew me away with its fantastic combination of white flowers and candied fruit. If you are looking for a toasty Champagne, this is not it--the Gamins is completely fresh and chalky style for Champagne fans that like it live and direct. It is also a great cellar candidate and will be even more fabulous as a twenty or thirty year old bottle. This great vintage is going for a low price for what it is... Future vintages are bound to be more expensive! (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)

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Price: $149.00

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By: Kyle Kurani |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 8/28/2014  | Send Email
A study in elegant richness and composure. The La Vigne Aux Gamins is one of the best bottles of bubbles I have had the pleasure to have this year. Out of the glass come toasted almonds and a hint of pound cake, with elegant aromas of white flowers and fresh chalk, signs of the beautiful Chardonnay that is about to envelope your palate. The first sip rushes in with spiced apples, fresh baguette and a beautiful counterbalance of white flowers that follow through from the nose. The freshness of this wine is what sets it apart, there is a persistent minerality that lends lift to the mouth feel, and an elegance that dances all the way through to the beautifully long and full finish. These notes were written on a day that we tried a total of 63 other Champagnes, from Krug to Billecart; this wine was undoubtedly one of the best things we tasted.

By: Scott Beckerley |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 3/20/2014  | Send Email
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Wow! This bottling of Champagne Thienot's "Gamins" has it all. The traditional elements of a superb blanc de blancs and so much more! Both green and golden apples are present (more so for the latter) as well as clay and dough notes on the nose. Lush lemon curd, light honey and nutty flavors on the palate. Wonderfully long finish! This bubbly would be a stellar addition to any cellar and should last another 20 years or so. Extremely impressive and worth every penny. For me, it is right up there with Krug and Salon.
Drink from 2014 to 2034

By: Shaun Green |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 8/13/2013  | Send Email
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Stunning perfection. The 2002 La Vigne Aux Gamins elegance and purity rise this Champagne to a level rarely seen. Without the need for blousy opulence or extensive lees character, the Champagne sings. It's a counter tenor compared to the more commonly seen baritone version of great Champagnes. No offence to the rich and toasty champagnes out there, I love those sometimes, but this is cerebral and special, a bright and vivid expression of Champagne, showing extremely refined minerality, delicate white florals and wonderfully focused fruit that is both delicate and profound at the same time. Don't miss this one!
Drink from 2013 to 2035

By: Gary Westby |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 4/27/2013  | Send Email
Last night at the Plumed Horse in Saratoga we drank a full 1% of the entire production of the single vineyard Thienot La Vigne Aux Gamins Blanc De Blancs Brut Champagne. The packed room was thrilled to get a chance to enjoy such a rarity with Garance Thienot and I am glad that there is still a little bit of the California allocation left to sell! This spectacular Avize Chardonnay has the exotic fruit that only a very old, well exposed vineyard can give and depth of chalky grip that comes from purest of Belmnita soils. It was a profound pairing with the Alaskan halibut course and it was worth feeling a little less than bright eyed today to drink my share of this great Champagne! Get it while you can- it won't take many more nights like last night to drain all the bottles in the state!
Drink from 2013 to 2042

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Additional Information:

Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Champagne

- The French region of Champagne (comprised of the towns of Rheims, Epernay, and Ay) was the first region in the world to make sparkling wine in any quantity. Today, the name of the region is synonymous with the finest of all sparkling wines, and winemaking traditions of Champagne have become role models for sparkling wine producers, worldwide. Surprisingly, the region of Champagne is now responsible for only one bottle in 12 of all sparkling wine produced. Styles of champagne range from the basic brut (often blends of several vintages), single vintage champagnes, and rose. View our bestselling Champagne.