Philipponnat   Clos Goisses

2004 Clos Goisses

By Philipponnat

The 2004 Clos Goisses from Philipponnat

A superb vintage, the 2004 Clos Goisses from Philipponnat stands out amidst its contemporaries for its impressive finesse combined with a seamless blend of power and elegance. This noble Champagne house excelled in 2004, deftly handling the challenging climatic conditions to produce wines of remarkable quality and indeed, investment potential.


An Extraordinary Vintage Emerges

The warm Spring of 2004 followed by an unpredictable but ultimately beneficial late summer infused itself into the character of this wine. While many feared December's frost would upset the vintage, the resulting acidity worked wonders for those who knew how to navigate it, such as the master vintners at Philipponnat. Their visionary approach made the 2004 Clos Goisses an exemplary expression of this year's unique style.

This vintage is defined by its freshness, finesse and tightly coiled complexity that will only unwind with age. However, its signature trait is arguably its structure; a beautifully chiselled edifice of minerality and ripe fruit that stands tall in the glass.


A Testament to Tenacity

Sharp citrus notes are harmoniously woven with whispers of toast and delicately smoked honey. As the wine breathes, deeper notes of stewed apple and praline emerge, neatly counterpointing the fresh mineral backbone which remains steadfast on the palate. The palate promises a great ageing potential that signifies its commendable investment potential.

The 2004 Clos Goisses from Philipponnat is one of those compelling wines that bear witness to a producer's tenacity and their willingness to innovate during even the most challenging years. The result is a sparkling testament to their winemaking artistry, and a powerful argument for any dedicated oenophile or discerning wine investor.

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From their iconic steep, south-facing, riverside vineyard in Mareuil-sur-Ay - acquired in 1935 - Philipponnat's strikingly beautiful 2004 Brut Clos des Goisses betrays no suggestion of alcoholic weight or opacity such as one might associate with an especially warm, fast-ripening vineyard. On the contrary, this is a bottling that combines silken feel with delicacy, refreshment, and utmost transparency to nuance. Chamomile, mint and lily-of-the-valley don't just turn heads from the rim of the glass; they waft through this wine's entire palate performance, against a greenhouse-like background of diverse if elusive flowering and leafing things. Salivary gland-tugging salinity and hints of chalk suffuse a fruit matrix of white peach, lime, red raspberry and red currant whose juicy, subtly crunchy expressions put me a bit in mind of certain supreme Nahe Rieslings. This site's reflection in the Marne River is itself iconic, but its reflection in your glass will prove kaleidoscopically spellbinding. That effect persisted during the four days I had the pleasure of following this 2004, and I suspect that subsequent bottles will prove worth following for at least a decade. The house of Philipponnat - which owns 44 prime acres in and around Mareuil-sur-Ay, its base of operations ever since having completed a new press house and cellar there in 2004 - is headed by Charles Philipponat, although it's owned by the group that controls Champagne Bruno Paillard Philipponnat. This house's Clos des Goisses estate vineyard is justly renowned, but on the occasion of my recent tasting, their extra brut "1522" - named for the year in which the first Philipponnat began farming vines, in Ay - proved almost as compelling. Importer: The Rare Wine Company, Sonoma, CA; tel. (800) 999-4342

David Schildknecht - The Wine Advocate, 29 November 2013

Vintage performance