One of the highlights of this important Champagne vintage, Philipponnat's 2008 Extra Brut Clos des Goisses is fabulous. Rich, ample and yet also full of the tension that makes the Champagnes of this year so appealing, the 2008 Goisses is crystalline and incredibly pure. Clos des Goisses has a track record of aging brilliantly for decades. Even knowing that, I am surprised by how harmonious the 2008 is at this early stage in its life. Yes, there is plenty of youthful austerity, but at the same time, the 2008 is remarkably poised and has more than enough mid-palate creaminess to play off the bright, salivating acids. Don't miss it! Disgorged: April 2017. Dosage is 4.5 grams per liter.
The steep south-facing slopes of Clos des Goisses have a growing season temperature which is 1.5 celsius warmer than the regional average in Champagne, ripening the 45% Pinot Noir and 55% Chardonnay to add body and ripeness that allows for a lower 4.5/l dosage in the bottle. The wine is fermented in 70% old oak barrels to further add body and richness, but malolactic fermentation is blocked to retain a freshness of acidity. The result is a rich nose of ripe lemon, peach, sesame seed and brioche. The palate is creamy, with a rich, fine mousse that is lightly smoky and juicy with fresh peach and red apple. After this initial weight, there is great cut and freshness of acidity that brings a taut, linear focus through the mid-palate to the finish. The obvious power to this wine is tightly wound and youthful, with waves of fresh fruit and toasted brioche building on the finish. There is a saline edge that makes it moreish already at this young stage, but this is certainly a wine with a great future ahead. A superb Champagne that will rival the best wines of the vintage.
From a cooler, fresher vintage and based on more Chardonnay than usual (55%), with 45% Pinot Noir, the Philipponnat 2008 Clos des Goisses Extra-Brut shows an exciting bouquet of bright fruits, crushed chalk, bread and iodine notes. On the palate, this is an excitingly vibrant, fresh and chalky Clos with lovely citrus and cumquat flavors on the finish. The 2008 is very complex, bright, super clear and fresh, with a tightly woven structure but still great finesse and elegance. This is a fabulous Clos for the next three decades. The dosage is 4.5 grams per liter. Disgorged in April 2017 (?), tasted at the domaine in April 2018.