Anyone drink a bottle of Clos de Mesnil over the holidays after our last discussion? I hope you did! Thanks to Xoel Cantero Alvarez, Brandon Ford, Dustin Chabert, guildsomm user, Jill Zimorski and Mark Shipway for breaking it down for us.
This week let's keep up the theme: Clos de Goisses
Tell us its history. Where is it located? What are the soils like? Who makes it? What is the current release? What was the first vintage? What grapes is it composed of?
In Mareuil-sur-Aÿ the family Philipponnat goes all the way back to 1522. Pierre Philipponnat founded the renowned champagne house in 1910, though it wasn't until 1935 that he acquired the 5.5-hectare vineyard, Clos des Goisses. In 1987 Champagne Philipponnat became a part of the Marie Brizard group (integrated into Bruno Paillard's Boizel Chanoine Champagne group in 1997). In 1999 Charles Philipponnat became president of Champagne Philipponnat. Charles got his passion for fine wines and gastronomy from his father René, who made wines as chef de cave at Moët and Dom Pérignon.
Beneficiary microclimates are the key to the juices’ delicious success:
• the sun reflects its heat on the surface of the Marne river.
• the thin clay-chalky surface works as a natural solar collector.
• the village buildings block the eastern winds that often carry rain.
• the roots of the vines need to brace themselves against this wind and dig deep into the chalk soil in search of water.
• the walls of the clos perform their part as heat collectors.
The combination of all of these allows the grapes to reach full maturity with grace and natural precision. These climates also lead to less chemical intervention within the vineyards.
Treats from the clos:
• L.V. ("long vieillissement") - reminiscent of Bollinger's R.D. - takes more time on the lees. Some of these vinothèque wines stayed in contact with their yeasts for over 50 years. Current release 2000
• Les Cintres is a special cuvée made of Pinot Noir harvested from the center, and finest part, of Clos des Goisses. Current release 2008.
• Le Reflet is named by shape of its bottle. This represents the silhouette you can admire from the opposite side of Clos des Goisses and le Canal Lathéral of the Marne river. This wine has an equal amount of Pinot Noir from Clos des Goisses with Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs in the blend. If you find one please share as they’re no longer producing this wine.
•Le Léon is from the house’s historic plot, located between Ay and Dizy, that produces Pinot noir exclusively. Current release 2006. Used in the Cuvée 1522 blend.
• Clos des Goisses Millénaire is a magnum of vintage 1990. Not much else out there on this one.
• Clos des Goisses ‘Juste Rosé’. The word “Juste” refers to the color: "barely" a shade and more copper than pink.