One of the finest Clos des Goisses of modern times - 98 Clos des Goisses

Posted by Ian McFadden

"Champagne's Most Renowned Vineyard Site" -Peter Liem
1998 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses

"The 1998 is one of the finest Clos des Goisses of modern times." -Peter Liem

Clos des Goisses is a world unto itself. Liem's quote above alludes to the fact that in vintages like 89 and 98, when many producers made good wine, Clos des Goisses made great wine.

Among the otherwise gentle, rolling hills of Champagne the Clos des Goisses is an anomaly: This is one of the steepest slopes in all of Champagne. During the harvest, nets are put up to catch workers who lose their footing and tumble down the hill.

The Clos des Goisses also has its own very distinct microclimate- it can get up to three degrees warmer than the rest of Champagne. Even in vintages where other vineyards struggle to ripen their grapes, the Goisses can deliver extraordinary depth and power.

This is why Richard Juhlin calls it, "one of the world's foremost wines."

It's also one of Champagne's most consistent wines. In the past seventy-four years, in only twelve vintages has it not produced the quality needed for a vintage wine. For Champagne, with its volatile and cool climate, this is extraordinary. It speaks to just how singular and special Clos des Goisses is.

Today, we focus on Philipponnat's 98 Clos des Goisses, one of the stars of the vintage, at the lowest price around.

Along with Selosse's mighty creations and Taittinger's Comtes de Champagne, Philipponnat's Clos des Goisses is one of Champagne's most muscular incarnations, though the complexity of the minerality is what gives this wine such a fascination with decades and decades of age.

Richard Juhlin reports on a 59 Goisses he drank in 2007 and named it "among the greatest wines I've ever tasted."

98 Clos des Goisses possesses the full-throttle chalk imbued intensity that defines the wine with an explosive mid-palate of spice and red fruits. This raw power is paired with an energy and agility, and this is what drives home just how special this wine is.

1998 was a topsy-turvy vintage - July had the least sun in forty years, August had the highest temperatures in forty years. As the Liem quote above makes clear, Philipponnat was able to navigate the vintage and just nail it with their Clos des Goisses.

While Clos des Goisses is often thought of as an "insiders" wine, an epic wine that cruises under-the-radar, nearly every offer has sold out quickly.

Please give us your maximum request and we'll do our best.

To order, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine and Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

Peter Liem: "Of all the vintages of Clos des Goisses in the 1990s, the 1998 and the 1996 are the ones with the most overt power—1996 because of its concentration and acidity, and 1998 for its sauvage, full-bodied richness. As always, however, the 1998 pairs its bold depth with a silky finesse and lively structure, feeling infused by chalky minerality. It’s surprisingly inviting for a young Clos des Goisses—this bottle, disgorged in July of 2008, already shows an ample fragrance and spicy complexity, its dark, pungent aromas of plum and currant accented by hints of clove, nutmeg, saddle leather and tobacco leaf. It acquires a slightly honeyed tone with some time in the glass, and overall it feels refined and aristocratic, showing remarkably well right now. What impact this forwardness has on its potential longevity, I don’t know—it seems as if the 1995 will be longer-lived, not to mention the 1996, but time will tell."