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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.
Clos des Goisses could only be served with meals as it is a wine in the truest sense of the term. It marries perfectly with foie gras, truffles, red meats, game and dishes with sauce. A wine as much as a Champagne, Clos des Goisses deserves to be put into a decanter. With in the ample curves of a ewer, it reaches its full potential as a fine wine: aromatic power, finesse and voluptuousness. Contrary to the preconceived notion that Champagne does not improve with age, this Champagne is perfectly suited to ageing and may he kept for more than 10 years.
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.
A warm and wet winter was followed by an equally wet spring. First, in May, came the seri- ous heat, which gave a fast owering around June 14. Chlorosis and mold growth were evi- dent. June and August were hot and dry. But if you were like me, and tried to have a July vaca- tion in Champagne that year, you noticed how cold and rainy it was. The weather was almost as bad as at home, with constant rain and local hailstorms.
Everything looked hopeless, but the good weather during harvest saved a decent amount of fresh grapes. Harvest started on my birthday—September 11—and ended in early October. Chardonnay and pinot meunier did better than the delicate pinot noir. The year will become sought after thanks to their magic number. The quality does not look too fancy yet though. The wines are quite light with short lives. However, it is a very enjoyable moment, with its intense exotic aromas of passion fruit and tangerine. I am delighted to recommend some romantic bottles of the successful pink trio William Deutz Rosé, Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé, and Pommery Cuvée Louise Rosé.
by Richard Juhlin/