Clos des Goisses Sweet Spot: 2008 Philipponnat Les Cintres

Posted by Ian McFadden

The Clos des Goisses vineyard is without equal in Champagne. Les Cintres is from a prime, steep parcel in the middle of Goisses.

I've devoted an incredible amount of time to hunting this wine down, and I'm excited to offer it. The inaugural release was 2006 and 2008 is the second release.

2008 is simply a fantastic Champagne vintage. Along with 2002, 2008 is the best vintage of the decade. Where 2002 is defined by a high level of ripeness and muscle, 2008 is about purity, harmony and an energetic structure. We love the total package.

When you combine the 2008 vintage with the singular grandeur of Clos des Goisses and further, focus in on the sweet spot of the vineyard, the results are jaw-dropping.

Les Cintres is a Blanc de Noirs that's only produced in special vintages. Like Krug's Clos d'Ambonnay and Billecart-Salmon's Clos Saint-Hilaire, it stands as one of the few world-class examples of all Pinot Champagne.

Antonio Galloni captures it really well when he writes: "A powerful, explosive wine, the 2008 is endowed with serious intensity in all of its dimensions." Les Cintres is all about force, tension and class.

Clos des Goisses is one of the steepest vineyards in all of Champagne, consisting of 5.5 perfectly south-facing hectares of very hard, deep chalk in the Marne. The incline is so extreme that nets are put up to catch workers who lose their footing during harvest. Grands Cintres and Petits Cintres are two of the top, steepest and most well exposed sections of the vineyard, planted exclusive with Pinot that's up 70 years old.

Les Cintres promises to be one of the most epic wines from this great vintage. Production is very limited and even after searching for some time, what's on offer is pretty modest. There's only one other listing in the country at a significantly higher price. If you're interested, I advise you not to hesitate.

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

Ian McFadden

Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits