The Gatinois family have been winemakers in Ay since 1696 and own 29 pieces of land in Ay with atotal area of 7 hectares. Half of the harvest is sold annually to their neighbours, Bollinger.
This is classic Ay Champagne which will repay further cellaring for development. For lovers of muscular, powerful styles this is very much in the massive Bollinger style. Currently in charge here is Pierre Cheval-Gatinois, who may trace his viticultural roots back at least eleven generations to Nicolas le Cacheur, a vigneron who worked in Aÿ as far back as 1696. The vineyards that crawl up the mountainside behind Aÿ are all classified as Grand Cru, and from his 7.2 ha Cheval-Gatinois brings in a selection of highly desirable grapes at harvest time. Some he still sells to Bollinger, as has been the case for years, but increasingly he is making and bottling a range of his own wines, under the Gatinois label. All are Grand Cru, and all are dominated by Pinot Noir, typically accounting for 90-100% of the blend in all of the wines. There are four non-vintage cuvées, the Tradition Brut and Réserve Brut (both 90% PN, 10% C), the Rosé Brut (100% PN, addition of red wine rather than saignée) and the Tradition Demi-Sec (90% PN). There is also a vintaged Millésime Brut (100% PN).