Arguably the greatest vineyard site in all of Champagne - 2004 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses

Posted by Ian McFadden

"Arguably the greatest vineyard site in all of Champagne"
2004 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses
Lowest Price in the Nation

This is always a fun email to write.

Whenever we prepare to send out an offer for Philipponnat's Clos des Goisses, I'm reminded just how important this wine is.

Clos des Goisses is one of the wine world's special (and legendary) pieces of land. And year after year, the wine is stunning.

This wine is on my list of must-buy bottles every vintage, without fail. Clos des Goisses is easily one of the most consistent Champagnes. 2004 marks yet another installment in one of Champagne's most iconic wines.

Peter Liem calls Clos des Goisses "arguably the greatest vineyard site in all of Champagne." This highest praise is very much deserved. Simply put, there's no place like Clos des Goisses. It's an island that plays by its own rules.

Probably the best way to highlight just what an anomaly, what an extraordinary site Clos des Goisses is, would be to mention that in Philipponnat's nearly 80 years of producing Clos des Goisses, there have been only a dozen vintages in which the wine was not produced. In all of Champagne, I can't think of a comparison that even comes close.

Unlike the rolling hills generally characteristic of Champagne, Clos des Goisses sits on some of the steepest slopes in the entire region - so steep that during harvest, nets are put up to catch any hapless workers who might fall. The site possesses its very own microclimate, about three degrees warmer than the rest of Champagne, where the vineyard sits on just 5.5 hectares of hard, chalky soil, staring perfectly due south.

When you've tasted Clos des Goisses, this singularity becomes blatantly clear. There's a core of intense chalky minerality and muscular dark Pinot fruit that's backed by a striking acid backbone.

Simply put, Clos des Goisses is an absolutely unique experience of straining mineral power and aristocratic breeding.

In 2004, all of this becomes heartbreakingly clear. Generally speaking, this vintage in Champagne has a lovely freshness and brightness. 2004 Clos des Goisses takes this and adds a drive, power and layered complexity that's unusual for the vintage.

2004's marked acidity is the perfect yin to the yang of Clos des Goisses' signature richness, yielding lively wines that are surprisingly complete. The freshness of the vintage combines with the naturally riper site, and the results are really engaging.

2004 is a clear reminder that the rules don't really apply to Clos des Goisses. I can clearly see people tasting the 2004 five or so years down the road and wishing that they had bought more. This is a wine that will really blossom.

Our advice is to stock up now - this is likely the sharpest pricing you'll see.

Beyond this, the 2004 is just a smart buy. 2004 doesn't have the hype of some vintages and this gives you a chance to snap up a great wine at really good pricing. When compared to the 2002 vintage, which is going for somewhere around $215-250, and the '96, which is going for well over $300, the value starts coming into clear focus.

2004 is a lovely, compelling expression of the great site. Clos des Goisses is justly known for being one of Champagne's longest lived wines. Our informed guess is that 2004 is a mid-term aging Goisses, which means it will reach maturity in a couple of decades as opposed to three or four.

We have sold out almost immediately on every offer of Clos des Goisses we have put out. I have no reason to expect today's will be any different. Please give us your maximum request and we'll do our best.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine and Rare
Crush Wine & Spirits