Belonging exclusively to Philipponnat, the Clos des Goisses is an exceptional vineyard of 5,5 Ha enclosed by walls, with an impressive gradient of 30 to 45°, facing full south, where Philipponnat produces the most powerful of Champagne wines. Always vintaged, very lightly dosed, this uncommon wine is characterized by incredible length and body, in which Pinot Noir characteristics predominate. This fabulous wine for great occasions, extraordinarily mineral and intense is also a marvelous companion for gastronomy matching game, mushrooms and even cheeses.
Vinification: Wine-making for Clos des Goisses is totally traditional. Its only originality resides in the absence of malo-lactic fermentation, which is systematically avoided. Thus, the wine maintains a vivacity and freshness that balances its alcoholic strength, its intensity, its roundness without masking any of its body and aromas and, on the contrary, contributes to its persistence. Wood, in this elaboration philosophy, is only partially used (30%); rather as a minor element in blending only there to increase complexity.
Aging: Very mature and intense, Clos des Goisses is an open, aromatic wine, although closed when young. Ageing in our own cellars is not so much destined to round it out, but rather to add still greater dimension and complexity. Ideal ageing is from 8 to 10 years, the prime of life for Clos des Goisses. At this age, the wine attains its greatest complexity without having lost its freshness. It is at this point that degorgement is carried out and the wine readied for sale. The structure of the wine is such that it will age gracefully for decades if kept in an adequate environment (cool and dark). One should not be afraid to decant Clos des Goisses before service to let the wine reveal its full potential.
Climbing the steep hill of Clos des Goisses against the shadows of the setting sun, our thoughts settled and the busy day seemed like yesterday. The sounds of Mareuil-sur-Aÿ village below had grown fainter and were accompanied only by the last rays of the vanishing sun.
The peace was perfect on that even hilltop. The 5,5 hectare vineyard that spread out around us is the best known after Krug´s Clos du Mesnil. Even after sunset the southern slope of the vineyard seemed to glow with warmth – Charles Philipponnat said that Clos des Goisses and particularly its southern slope enjoy a clearly unusual, very warm
“Clos des Goisses vineyard is divided into at least two parts, sometimes even more, that all have their own microclimates. In bad, rainy and cold years the vineyard´s southern slope can produce rather well balanced grapes when the other parts of the vineyard fail.
On the other hand in hot and dry years the grapes of the southern slope downright shrivel before the harvest, spending long days under the burning sun. This is when the cooler, shadier parts of the vineyard offer well matured grapes, where the balance between sugar and acidity is better. We produce the Clos des Goisses champagne only on good years, when our whole vineyard gives fruity, well balanced grapes.”
The Clos des Goisses vineyard is owned by the Philipponnat champagne house and the Philipponnats have lived in the Champagne region since the 17th century. Pierre and Auguste Philipponnat founded the champagne house in 1910 in the village of Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, roughly five kilometers from the city of Epernay.
Their first vineyards ( 17 hectares ), including Clos des Goisses, were acquired in the mid 1930s. Today only a quarter of the estates yearly 500.000 bottles come from the products of its own vineyards, the rest is bought from local growers.
The estate´s best champagne Clos des Goisses is a very lasting champagne, so Charles Philipponnat does not recommend it to be drunk until it reaches the age of 15-20, and even then it should decanted, which is exceptional for champagnes.