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June 26, 2013

Philipponnat, Clos des Goisses 1999

Philipponnat-Clos-des-Goisses-1999

Philliponnat’s Clos des Goisses is a first-class boutique house based on the east of Epernay (Mareuil-sur-Ay). It has been bottled unblended since its inception in 1935 and was the first single-vineyard in Champagne; most are made form a selection of many vineyards.

The Clos des Goisses’ meagre 5.5 ha, is almost pure chalk, ideal for the highest quality Champagne. It is located on one of the steepest hills in Champagne boasting a gradient of 40°. This dizzying aspect helps the vines to bathe in the sun, resting on the lowest segment of the Montagne de Reims. The combination of chalk soil and slope provides perfect drainage, helping to ripen the fruit, resulting in high potential alcohol. The Clos des Goisses began with pure Chardonnay (Blanc de Blanc); hitherto in the 1950s the incredible ripening potential incited a change to 70% Pinot Noir.

Only 17,000 bottles are made from this single vineyard a year, which are all barrel fermented, spending an incredible 9 years on their second lees before disgorgement and subsequent release. The perennial ripeness means it can release a vintage almost every year, thus cementing itself as a jewel in the crown of Champagne. ‘Oddly enough Clos des Goisses remains a wine for insiders despite a track record few wines can match, as it is one of the most ageworthy Champagnes on the market.’ Antionio Gallioni. Scoring 95 points and currently at £600 IB per half case, the 1999 offers incredible value.

The 1999 Clos des Goisses flows from the glass with the essence of minerals, chalk, smoke, ash, white peaches, pears, flowers and sweet oak. This is a muscular, powerful wine that needs serious bottle age to come around, yet it possesses striking clarity and detail in its aromatics and flavors. Clos des Goisses is one of the most rewarding wines to drink when mature, and I have no doubt this will be another splendid version. This refined, sumptuous wine is not to be missed. Clos des Goisses is 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay, and 30% of the wine was fermented in oak. This bottle was disgorged in March 2007. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2024.  94 Antonio Gallioni (Dec 2008)

We believe this can be consumed now, or laid down for decades. This is undervalued compared to similar leading prestige Champagnes and vintages.