Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tasting at Philipponnat

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And it was time to taste the wines. The bottles were chilled, which always presents Champagne in the best way. I was so excited - my first real look at the wines of Philipponnat. This is the entire product line, comprising of 5 distinct wines. What stood out across all them were the reductive characters, which should be expected for such young wines. These are firm, structured wines, which almost demand bottle age. Dosage is quite elegant, and well integrated. We won't ever see them here, but European consumers are provided with very detailed back labels showing such critical information such as disgorgement date and amount of dosage.

NV Philipponnat Royal Réserve Brut

Toasty, mineral aromas. Restrained fruit, slight spice on the palate. Very primary at this stage, a useful aperitif.

NV Philipponnat Royal Réserve Non Dosé Brut

A lot of houses are turning to these type of wines, with no dosage. The argument is that these wines are more indicative of terroir. The truth is that these are incredibly difficult to get right. The great challenge is to balance the acidity, and ensuring that the wine has enough body. Tough, tough to get right. This is immediately fresher, more floral. Incredibly sharp, steely spine of acidity. I'd be very interested to see how these wines age, but this is something that needs to be served with food.

NV Philipponnat Réserve Rosé Brut

Being served after, the dosage in this wine almost sticks out as sickly sweet. Very pale in colour, with light berries. Very fresh, needs time to develop some complexity. A clean, simple wine.

2004 Philipponnat Grand Blanc Brut

Toasty, with a richness in the aroma. Wafts of of what reminds me of the wonderfully semi-firm cheese from the Jura we ate the previous night. Very linear acidity, elegant.

2000 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses

And now to the granddaddy of them all. We fulfilled our obligation - walking the vineyard was amazing. To high expectations, I finally tasted Clos des Goisses. Rich on the nose, toasty and buttery autolysis. Ripe marmalade of fruits, fresh and youthful on the palate, with reductive characteristics. Really needs time to flesh out and develop. Long. A refined wine of great breeding.

DF

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