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These very special wines are offered on a pre-arrival basis and will be delivered in September 2020.

The Story

The 2010 Clos des Goisses from “…arguably the single greatest vineyard site in Champagne…”

“…this clos is a special site, and the wine from it is truly remarkable.” Jamie Goode

“It is arguably the single greatest vineyard site in Champagne…” Peter Liem

“Clos des Goisses has always been one of the most extraordinary jewels in Champagne’s crown.” Tom Stevenson

“Philipponnat is known above all for the Clos des Goisses, a 5.5 hectare, south-facing vineyard purchased by Pierre Philipponnat in 1935. Recognizing the qualities of this unusual site he immediately began bottling the Clos des Goisses as a separate, single-vineyard champagne, an unheard-of practice at the time.” Peter Liem

We’re delighted that Charles Philipponnat has once again presented us with an allocation of his Estate’s legendary Clos des Goisses, now from the 2010 vintage. Following on from two great vintages it may be, but Philipponnat’s 2010 is outstanding in its own right. This is largely due to the very strict selection which has resulted in a tiny release—only 4000 bottles when Clos des Goisses’ can produce up to 30,000!

The release truly represents only the very best parcel of wine, just over 10%. After draconian selection in the vineyard and sorting in the cellar, only the very finest and freshest wines were selected to be bottled, hence the quality (and very limited quantity). The result is a triumph, as the critics’ notes below makes clear.

Alongside the main release we also have again been given a miniscule allocation of the remarkable 2008 Clos des Goisses Juste Rosé. We had to work pretty hard to get all of 24 bottles of this late disgorgement rosé from this great vintage (produced with the addition of 6% Pinot Noir rouge from the same vineyard).

This year also sees the inaugural release of Philipponnat’s L.V. or Long Vieillissement i.e., “long aging” range. In short, for over two decades Philipponnat has been holding back a portion of the Clos des Goisses to be released over time. While there have already been some late disgorged wines released over the years, the L.V. range now formalises a yearly release at the same time as the current vintage. It is widely accepted that the Clos des Goisses needs 10-15 years to unveil its truly majesty and, when it comes to aging Champagne, maturation on lees with late disgorgement is best. Vinified under the then chef de cave Norbert Thiébert, and aged for a quarter of a century in Philipponnat’s Caveau du Trésor, the program’s initial releases are drawn from 1992, 1993 and 1994. The wines are not cheap, but they are special.


Thoughts on extended lees ageing from:

Wine Decoded’s Chief Wine Hacker, Paul Kaan

I made sparkling wine in Australia and Champagne in France. The first time you put 100,000 bottles away for their second fermentation is an experience of elation and trepidation in one. Until that second fermentation is finished you live on the knife’s edge of having stuffed up years of work or created that sparkle we all love!

Then comes the next set of decision: How do I store these bottles? How long do I wait before riddling them? How long will I leave them in contact with the lees (dead yeast from the second ferment)?

Philopponnat’s L.V. range is certainly pushing the envelope. With wines on lees for decades. Producers like Provost prefer absolute minimum time on lees believing the expression of the terroir will be diminished by time on lees. Personally I call what’s in the glass. Some of the most profound experience I’ve had involved Late Disgorged wines.

The pic below left shows champagne Sur Lie with maximum area of lees to wine contact. The pic on the right shows wines that have been shifted to being Sur Pointe (on point) for extend maturation. This shifts the lees into the neck of the bottle reducing the surface area of lees exposed to the wine and slowing the development of autolysis characters from the break down of yeast.

The environment in the bottle with all oxygen consumed by the yeast, 6.5 bar of pressure from a wine saturated with CO2, and, the reductive nature of the yeast lees, keeps the wine fresh. As time passes the wines harmonise, offering more depth of the mid-palate and build additional layers of complexity, the become seamless.

I’ve been lucky enough to bottle several vintages of sparkling wine, I still have magnums from the 1999 vintage on lease, and, uncovered a forget stash of bottles from 1998 just a week ago.

I love hand riddling these and disgorging them to drink immediately without dosage or resealing. The present such incredible freshness and pleasure!


The History

The Clos des Goisses is one of Champagne’s greatest and most important historic terroirs. The vineyard, situated in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ just a 10-minute drive east of Epernay, is located in an area that has forever been renowned for the quality of its wines, even before Champagne was sparkling! The site rises steeply from the edge of the Marne river and is planted with 3.5 hectares of Pinot Noir and two hectares of Chardonnay. It faces almost due south—one of the keys to its greatness—so ripeness is rarely an issue. This aspect, the extremely chalky soils and atypical warmth (an average growing season temperature of 1.5 °C higher than most of Champagne) results in one of Champagne’s most powerful and intense wines.

With good reason, this was the very first sparkling wine in Champagne to be bottled as a single vineyard wine (in 1935 as “Vin des Goisses”) and the quality has always been special. Today, with a focus on precise viticulture, old massale vines, moderate yields and ripe fruit at harvest time, the wine has never been better.

In his book, Champagne (Mitchel Beazley, 2017) Peter Liem writes that Philipponnat’s Clos de Goisses is “…a wine of intense minerality, a pure essence of Champagne’s chalk allied with ripe, vivid fruit flavours. It is arguably the single greatest vineyard site in Champagne…” He goes on to say, “From a top vintage, Clos des Goisses is one of the most exciting experiences that Champagne can offer.”

In the Vineyard

Clos des Goisses is a parcel of 11 Lieux Dits. Gois or Goisse meaning very steep gives us the first clue to the site. Yes it is very steep running at 45º. Facing due south the pure chalk slope receives sun for the full day. The warmth of the Clos des Goisses typically offers higher potential alcohol for the fruit, and, powerfull intense wines.

In the Winery

With the richness of the fruit, many of the processes and much of the decision making in the winery revolves around retention of freshness. For example malolactic fermentation is blocked. Yet there is a clear understanding of élévage with the use of barrel maturation. The wood sourced from Burgundy after it has seen 2-3 years of use. The house describes the wines of Clos desGoisses as ‘big, Burgundian style of champagne!’

Where in the World is Philiopponnat?

Philipponnat, has vineyards in Aÿ, Mareuil-sur-Aÿ and Avenay.

The map below shows the main sub-regions of Champagne

Click to enlarge🔎


From left to right Champagne vineyards by Soil Type, Aspect and Dominant Varietal

Click on a map to enlarge🔎

Want More?

For an in-depth history of the vineyard and its wines, along with a summary of the wine growing and winemaking, please see the links below.

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Philippponnat Clos des Goisses

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About the Wines

2010 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses

The blend: 71% Pinot Noir and 29% Chardonnay.
Vinification: Traditional, vinification for 53% of the wine in wooden barrels. The balance in tank. There was no malolactic fermentation.
Aging: Bottle aging on lees for over eight years at a constant temperature of 12°C, in the house’s historic cellars in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ.
Dosage: Extra Brut (4.25 g/litre) gives full expression to the vinosity and minerality of this exceptional vineyard.
Disgorged: March 2019

Of the Clos des Goisses’ 14 plots, only the five finest were used to craft the 2010 blend. Even then, only the best wines were selected for the final blend. Just 5,000 bottles were produced, with only 4,000 released this year—the remaining 1,000 will go on to craft the Juste Rosé and to be released later as the L.V.

Be sure to serve the wine in a proper wine glass, ideally not too cold, and don’t be scared to decant. In short, treat it like a fine white wine—for that’s what it is! It’s also a serious food wine and able to stand up to a wide range of dishes including roast chicken or pork, game bird, any sausages, hard cheeses, pâtés and terrines, etc.

95+ Points

“The 2010 Clos des Goisses shows a distinctly tropical, exotic profile that is unusual in Clos des Goisses. Candied orange peel, passionfruit, burnt sugar, mint and yellow flowers all meld together in the glass. Lush fruit, low-ish acid and soft contours add to the wine’s soft, open-knit feel. Time in the glass brings out more lifted, perfumed notes that add to the wine’s overall appeal. Two-thousand-ten presented significant challenges in the vineyard, including high disease pressure that required quite a bit of sorting. The blend is 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay (a bit more Chardonnay than normal), while production is just 5,000 bottles. Clos des Goisses has an extraordinary track record, so ordinarily I would not suggest opening wines young, but the 2010 is a rare exception. That said, it needs 1-2 hours of air to show at its best at this early stage of its life.”

Antonio Galloni, Vinous

98 Points

“The 2010 Clos des Goisses, of which there will be only 5,000 bottles, shows a generous and lively bouquet of white pepper, white flowers, apricot and hazelnut… it possesses a creamy, deep and crystalline texture with elegant aromas of white fruits. Opulent, distinguished and delicate at the same time, the 2010 is a scintillating expression of this cuvee.”

Decanter

2008 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses Juste Rosé

The brilliant Juste Rosé was added to the portfolio in 1999, and this 2008 is only the seventh release. The wine is based on the same blend as the Clos des Goisses 2008—58% Pinot Noir and 42% Chardonnay—yet also includes an addition of still Pinot Noir wine, made from the ripest fruit of the Clos des Goisses. Less than 3,000 bottles are produced in a given year, and the wine is then aged for nine years and only put on the market when perfectly mature.

The 2008 was disgorged in March 2019, around 14 months after the Clos des Goisses bottling. It’s a stunning wine as the notes below make clear.

98+ Points

“The 2008 Extra Brut Clos des Goisses Juste Rosé is a fabulous forthcoming release from Philipponnat, opening in the glass with aromas of rose petals, warm bread, red berries, papaya and spices. On the palate, it's full-bodied, ample and layered, with an incisive spine of acidity, excellent concentration and a tight-knit core, concluding with a long, intense and chalky finish. This is still a very youthful, tensile rosé and patience will be required of anyone hoping to drink it at its peak of maturity.”

William Kelley, The Wine Advocate

95 Points

“The 2008 Clos des Goisses Juste Rosé is terrific. Over the last few months, the Juste Rosé has really come into its own. In most vintages, Just Rosé leans towards the airy side of the spectrum, but the 2008 packs a serious punch of both fruit depth and overall intensity as well as structure. Citrus, floral, mineral and blood orange notes add brightness and energy to a core of dense Pinot fruit in this deceptively pale yet beautifully resonant Rosé from Philipponnat. The 2008 finishes with tremendous depth and pure class. It is the best vintage of this wine yet.”

Antonio Galloni, Vinous

1992 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses L.V.

The blend: 65% Pinot Noir and 35% Chardonnay.
Disgorged: July 2018 (247 bottles only)

92 Points

“Opening in the glass with autolytic aromas of toasted bread, yeast extract, honeyed peaches, confit citrus and praline, the 1992 Extra Brut Clos des Goisses L.V. is medium to full-bodied, ample and fleshy, with incisive acids, a fine mousse and a delicate, fine-boned profile, concluding with a mineral finish. This is an elegant middleweight Clos des Goisses that's drinking very well today. Disgorged in July 2018 after prolonged maturation sur lattes under natural cork, this new release inaugurates Philipponnat's L.V. program, formalizing their late-disgorged ex-maison releases.”

William Kelley, The Wine

1993 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses L.V.

The blend: 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay.
Disgorged: July 2019 (933 bottles only)

93 Points

“The 1993 Clos des Goisses Late-Disgorged is weighty, powerful and ample in the glass, with tremendous textural resonance and tons of character. Lemon confit, petrol, Mirabelle, spice, ginger, pineapple and cured meats give the 1993 a decidedly wild, exotic personality, and yet all the elements are impeccably balanced. Moreover, the 1993 expresses that magical ability of Clos des Goisses to show quite a bit of nuance with age and yet retains terrific freshness. The silky, creamy finish adds to the wine’s sheer appeal. The blend is 2/3rds Pinot Noir and 1/3rd Chardonnay. Dosage is 4.5 grams per liter.”

Antonio Galloni

93 Points

“The 1993 Extra Brut Clos des Goisses L.V. was also disgorged in July 2018, and along with its older sibling, the 1992, it inaugurates Philipponnat's newly formalized program of late disgorgement releases. Bursting with aromas of yellow apple, beeswax, smoke, mandarin oil and hazelnut, it's medium to full-bodied, deep and nicely concentrated, with a racier spine and a more tensile profile than the 1992, surpassing that wine in cut and focus if not in volume and amplitude. 1993 is one of the smallest ever vintages of Clos des Goisses, with the total production amounting to some 3,000 bottles. Like the 1992, it is drinking very well today.”

William Kelley, The Wine Advocate

1994 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses L.V.

The blend: 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay.
Disgorged: July 2019 (933 bottles only)