One of the great wines of Champagne - 2000 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses

Posted by Ian McFadden

Sneakily Epic:
"One of the great wines of Champagne"
2000 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses

The Clos des Goisses vineyard is without equal in Champagne.

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.

"This is one of the great wines of Champagne," writes Peter Liem.

Clos des Goisses has garnered a cult following. It is easily among the longest lived, most complicated and most mind-bending mineral wines in all of Champagne.

Four years ago, we offered Philipponnat's 2000 Clos des Goisses. Unsurprisingly, it sold out in a flash. We've been searching for more ever since. Finding decently sized parcels of back-vintage Clos des Goisses is extremely difficult.

Clos des Goisses puts forth a wonderfully muscular incarnation of Champagne: savory, layered and with a shivering acidity that belies its rich core. In the 2000 there is a creamy breadth and generosity, but also a vivacity and unwavering focus, "finishing"—as Liem puts it—"on a pinpoint, drenched in the chalky minerality characteristic of the Clos." '

More so than any other in Champagne, Clos des Goisses is notable for its vinous nature. There is the complexity of the world's greatest still wines—just with bubbles.

What's especially remarkable about this wine is its consistency, the way it manages to merit this highest honor year after year, regardless of the quality of the vintage as a whole. Fair-weather Champagne fans look to blockbuster years like 1996 or 2002 (where prices are accordingly through the roof), but in vintages everyone else forgot about, Philopponnat turns out sneakily epic wines.

Philipponnat practices low dosage and blocks malolactic, adding to the bracing acid backbone that ensures each vintage its very long life. He holds his wines a full decade before release; four years after that, the wine is absolutely delicious, and still promises more life to come.

Clos des Goisses is an absolutely unique experience of straining mineral power and aristocratic breeding. The 2000 is just beginning to enter a sweet spot. It's very rare that I can offer a Champagne of Goisses pedigree with this much age at this price point.

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

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

Peter Liem: "This is significantly deeper in color than the 1999, partially due to the ripeness of the vintage, but also perhaps partially due to the fact that this was the first vintage of Clos des Goisses that saw any barrels (none new)—prior to 2000, the wine was always made in a combination of tank and foudre. It's unusually forward on the nose for a young Clos des Goisses, showing a broad, creamy richness typical of the vintage. On the palate, however, it tightens up considerably, demonstrating a vivid tension and grip under its bold depth. The fruit feels concentrated and slightly honeyed, as might be expected for 2000, but it seems to grow firmer and more intensely focused the further it moves back on the palate, starting off broadly yet finishing on a pinpoint, drenched in the chalky minerality characteristic of the Clos. It's surprisingly delicious to drink right now, although it certainly has room to grow, and should continue to develop more complexity and depth for at least another decade."