While on vacation with family in the historical village of Troyes, I sampled a Champagne at the Chez Félix restaurant that blew my mind. What really stood out was that the wine was aged in terracotta. As a result, I reached out the producer, Arnaud Gallimard, who invited me to visit his Champagne facilities.
Following the brand page, I am excited to explore the unique Gallimard Amphoressence cuvée with you in this detailed review where we touch on the following topics:
- House: Gallimard Père & Fils
- Cuvée: Amphoressence
- Location: Les Riceys, Côtes de Bars
- Class: Cru
- Vintage: No
- Blend Style: Terracotta Ageing
- Grapes: 50% Pinot Noir, 50% Chardonnay
- Sugar: Brut Nature
- Producer Identifier: NM-456-001
- Price: $40
As you’ll learn in the dedicated brand page linked above, Gallimard was founded in 1930 in Les Riceys, Côte des Bar. Today it is run by the family’s fifth and sixth generations, Didier and Arnaud.
A limited release of only 2,500 bottles, this cuvée won a silver medal at the 2018 General Paris Awards.
Buy Gallimard Amphoressence Now
Gallimard Amphoressence’s Robe
- Hue: Mid-Gold
- Transparency: Clear
- Bubbles: Minute & Graceful
A freshly served glass of Amphoressence reveals the refined perlage featuring an abundance of minute bubbles. The bubbles glide gracefully to the surface, cutting through Amphoressence’s mid-gold yet remarkably clear hue.
Amphoressence’s Nose & Bouquet
Detected Nose Notes:
- 1st Nose: White Nectarine, Bergamot Rind
- 2nd Nose: Raspberry, Brioche
Amphoressence consists of a deep and nuanced nose. The first nose reveals white nectarine and with the citrus zest of bergamot. Its bouquet is more complex than two simple notes with subtly persistent aromas of fleshy fruit.
Meanwhile, a second nose helps discover the tart raspberry with a warm brioche finish.
Gallimard’s Palate & Mouthfeel
Tasted Palate Notes:
- Opening: Grapefruit, Strawberry, Red Apple
- Heart: Apricot, Williams Pear, Raspberry
- Finish: Chalk Mineral, Brioche, Mango
- Overall Flavour Length: Long
Aged for between 5 and 6 years, Amphoressence has developed a mature and velvety texture. Thanks to the terracotta’s porous membrane, the micro-oxidation has developed a pure flavour while accelerating the ageing process.
Amphoressence opens with a richly citrus bouquet of tart grapefruit, fresh strawberries and the sweet acidity of red apples. The citrus zest is particularly prevalent while the red apple provides a harmonious balance.
This acidity persists well into the heart. Notes of fleshy apricot, sharp Williams pear and piquant raspberries stimulate the tongue.
As the tapestry of flavour transitions to the finish, the saliva coagulates with the tartness. This reveals the mineral notes of the terracotta vessels and the chardonnay’s chalky soil. A hint of toasted brioche provides warmth before an unexpected and long mango finish.
Finally, this bottle was enjoyed at temperatures between 6 to 12°C (42.8 – 53.6°F). I found that it released the best aromas and really reached its full potential around the 10°C (50°F) mark.
Best Pairings With Amphoressence
A complex and characterful blend that marries the bold red fruits of pinot noir and the refreshing crystalline notes of Chardonnay, Amphoressence is a challenging beast to tame. However, I must say that I really enjoyed according it with a number of different accords.
I initially sampled it with gambas, which was a pairing that worked quite well with the zingy citrus notes playing off against the seafood’s saltiness. However, what really exemplified this harmony was when I had the opportunity to accord Amphoressence with Petrossian caviar.
The combined velvety texture with the smoothness of the caviar was extraordinary. Meanwhile, the briny flavours of the caviar offered harmony to the Champagne’s tart bouquet.
Otherwise, I stumbled upon the perfect cigar to accompany Amphoressence. While I had initially set my eyes on the Davidoff 702 Signature 2000, I instead tried it with a Ramon Allones Superiores.
This proved to be an excellent combination with the cigar’s savoury spices happily dancing across the palate with the Champagne’s sharpness. Furthermore, the Ramon Allones Superiore features a distinctive terracotta note in this first third that wonderfully extends the minerality of the Amphoressence.
Overall Experience & Value For Money
Champagne Gallimard have created a label for Amphoressence that breaks away from their traditional aesthetic. Silver lettering sits over a matte-black paper with a scrolling “G” for “Gallimard”.
The result is a contemporary design that wouldn’t look out of place at a fine restaurant or lavish event. Meanwhile, the plaque is quite classic while the cork used was a Mytik Diam, which is well known for being reliable and TCA-free.
As for the value for money, Amphoressence retails at 39€ directly from the vineyard’s shop, which is extraordinary. When I first sampled this Champagne, I expected it to be something within the 100€ price point. However, I was surprised to learn that it was less than half of that.
According to Arnaud Gallimard, their Champagne has an established distributor in the USA. Therefore, if you’re lucky to locate it, I would highly recommend that you take a case home with you.
Finally, this is a Champagne for the keen enthusiast. Not only is it a very dry Brut Nature but the story behind the Champagne makes this a unique specimen. Therefore, I suggest that it would be something to reserve for a fine meal or an appetiser with close friends.
Whatever the occasion, make sure that you enjoy it to its fullest and savour every sip!
If you’re looking for a truly unique Champagne to sample, then the Amphoressence is comfortably sitting at the top of my list. Not only is Arnaud Gallimard the only producer to be ageing Champagne in terracotta vessels but he’s mastered it into an art-form.
A delicate Champagne that simultaneously offers bold character, Amphoressence is a veritable experience. Therefore, whatever your interest in Champagne, this should be the next one that you sample.
"A singular Champagne experience. An original blend that marries the boldness of pinot noir and the mineral of Chardonnay, this unique cuvée deserves more than a silver medal."Rating: 5.0 ★★★★★
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