TNs: '96 Gosset and '05 Dhondt

1996 Gosset Brut Grand Millesime: Excessively tart and out of balance. Some aged characteristics (hints of caramel, walnut/pecan), but lean and lacking richness. Perhaps something is wrong with the bottle? I purchased this upon release from Premier Cru. To give some context, this was largely upstaged by a bottle of the Gosset NV Brut that followed it…which was a very good NV wine, though certainly not spectacular. (No score given, as I don’t know how to rate a wine that is ultimately unpleasant to drink–53 points? 76 points? I just don’t know)

2005 Jose Dhondt Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru V.V.: Very good wine (perhaps fantastic relative to the vintage?)…very young, firm and powerful wine, with baked apple, lime and minerality. Tons of acidity to slice through what might otherwise be an overly rich wine, providing a very long finish. Not exactly cheap at $85 full retail (in Dallas)…but I’ll be tempted to pick up another bottle “in the name of science”. 93 points.

Note: I tried a couple of Jose Dhondt wines at a recent tasting of Grower Champagnes and did not find them memorable at the time…I don’t remember whether they had any of their vintage BdBs open or not…

I’d complain to Premier Cru.

Commiserations. We have had most of a half case of 1996 Gosset plus a couple in a favourite London restaurant over the past 4 years [last one well over a year ago] all of which were delicious but all, unusually for 1996s in my experience, ready to drink. I hope that apparently early development did not signal an early downslope but we will now drink the last bottle soon.

I would certainly have a discussion with your supplier particularly if you bought more than one. Even if it was only one it would be worth hearing what they have to say.


Nice notes. The 96 Gosset is maturing faster than many probably would expect. but it should still be enjoyable if maybe starting to tilt slightly out of balance in terms of mature notes vs. sizzling acidity. I would guess you had a bad bottle.

I’m not huge on the 05 Dhondt, but understand its attraction and do agree that it is a good 2005 wine. It was at the grower tasting you mention, but I don’t think it was in the main tasting room for the entire time so you may not have had a chance to try it. They also may have had the 04 to taste; I can’t recall 100%.

Dang John, that’s a crazy price for the 05 Dhondt. But since you enjoyed it quite a bit, I say it was worth it.

Brad, if you have a chance, how is the 1996 Bollinger GA drinking now?


I think the 96 Bolly GA is drinking really, really well right now. Another 96 that is an earlier drinker than many would assume and I don’t think it will make very good old bones. I think its peak drinking period is probably now and for another 3 or so years; the main positive it has right now is a good balance of acidity and richness - it has you going back for another glass and then another. No reason to keep, but you don’t need to rush and drink them all right now, today, either.

So is the '95 GA!! [drinkers.gif]

I know it is going way off topic, but since we seem to be on a bit of a Bollinger theme - the 2002 Grande Annee Rose is an outright stunning bottle of wine. Another great 2002 Rose.

Don’t worry Otto, I didn’t pay that, but that is the “shelf price” here in Dallas, perhaps the worst place in the USA for Champagne prices generally…

I agree with Brad the '96 Bollinger GA is drinking great…and to my tastes the '96 RD GA is AMAZING.

Based on the comments above (and the positive CellarTracker notes), I clearly got some bad bottles of the '96 Gosset. I hate when that happens…

Unfortunately, this is very, very true.