In the small village of Mareuil-sur-Aÿ a few kilometres east of Epernay, we find Champagne Philipponnat in a handsome house with a magnificent gate. Philipponnat is a small, high-quality champagne house. It owns 17 hectares of vines and buys grapes from approximately the same area to meet their needs. Around
700 000 500,000-600,000 bottles are produced annually.
The house was founded in 1910 by brothers Auguste and Pierre Philipponnat and it was Pierre who in 1935 bought land from several vineyard owners and thus created Clos de Goisses, a 5 hectare walled vineyard with one of Champagne’s most exceptional locations: a steep, sunny southern slope down towards the river, a location Philipponnat is very proud of. Here the grapes ripen well thanks to the superb sun exposure. In addition, the champagne ages on its lees in the cellar for 10 years before being released. A champagne which, says director Charles Philipponnat, should be drunk with a meal, not as an aperitif. At Philipponnat they always decant it before serving.
Clos des Goisses 2000 is a powerful champagne with minerality and freshness. And a long finish. Pinot Noir dominates and there are subtle aromas of roses. Half the volume has been fermented in oak barrels which gives a good texture and richness. No malolactic fermentation. The house has recently released Clos des Goisses 2001 and 2002.
However, Philipponnat is not only Clos des Goisses. I am also fond of Grand Blanc 2005, a 100% chardonnay with a low dosage of 5 grams and the elegant and smooth Cuvée 1522, 2003, made of 60% chardonnay and 40% pinot noir.
Their site: www.philipponnat.com
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