1996 Cult Champagne: Clos des Goisses

Posted by CrushWine

1996 Philipponnat "Clos des Goisses"
Cult Single-Vineyard Champagne

"Clos des Goisses is consistently one of the world's
foremost wines." - Richard Juhlin

Today we offer a legend in the making.

In 10 years' time, when the wines of this vintage truly begin to speak, there is little doubt that the 1996 Clos des Goisses will be considered one of the greats of this storied vintage, right there alongside the big names like Krug and Salon.

While this is a bottling that has been sought out by top Champagne collectors for years, devotees of the best growers like Anselme Selosse, Cedric Bouchard, Jerome Prevost and Vouette et Sorbee should seriously consider putting Clos des Goisses in their cellars. There is a similarity in style, a blanketing, dark-fruited richness married to a super-dense core of minerals. All of these wines can show oxidative elements, giving them a distinct personality, complex notes of iron, minerals, walnuts, hazelnuts and oils.

The 1996 Clos des Goisses has to be considered the greatest Goisses since the 1989. We have priced the wine sharply for the remaining days of 2009 and strongly encourage everyone with room in the cellar to indulge in the 4-pack. This wine will improve for many, many decades.

The ageworthiness of the Clos des Goisses is legendary - Richard Juhlin called a 1959 drunk in 2007, "among the greatest wines I've ever tasted."

Though perhaps counter-intuitive, if you do open a bottle this holiday, consider decanting it. With air you will lose a bit of the initial fine-ness of the mousse, but it will also relax the crisp snap of the acidity, better coaxing out the dark fruit and mineral-earth complexities of the wine.

The Clos des Goisses is undoubtedly one of Champagne's most unique sites. The vineyard enjoys a unique micro-climate which can be almost 3 degrees warmer than the rest of Champagne, closer to Burgundy's Côte d'Or, in fact, than its own northern haunts. With a perfect due south exposure, the walled-in, 5.5 hectare vineyard is also one of the steepest in all of Champagne, angling toward the Marne Canal that runs along its base and which buffers the nighttime and early-morning temperatures, protecting the vineyard from frost. (See picture, right.) Even in vintages where other vineyards struggle to ripen their grapes, the Goisses can deliver extraordinary depth and power.

The Clos des Goisses, almost in any vintage, is on my short-list of wines I buy *immediately* when the price is right. The potential of the 1996 is just epic - the pricing is incredibly sharp and lasts only until our parcel is gone, or the year is over. To order, email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director of Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

1996 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses