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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.
Up to this point 1996 has been considered a fantastic vintage which produced classic wines; the best since 1990. A long, dry summer produced grapes of record ripeness with record acidity. Some, including myself, question how the 1996s are aging. The wines are generally characterized by a distinctive rather lemony acidity and very good attack, but some wines now seem terribly austere, while others already seem dangerously short of fruit. None of the subsequent vintages are quite as distinctive as 1996, which in the more successful cases should almost certainly be drunk after the 1999s.