Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 22/12/2008 The estate’s 1998 Clos des Goisses could not possibly be more different than the 1999. This is a wonderfully dense, richly-textured Clos des Goisses with a deep, baritone-like expression of fruit. Ripe apricots, honey and flowers flow from the glass, followed by suggestions of smoke, mint and minerals that add further complexity as the wine opens up in the glass. This is a powerful, masculine Clos des Goisses that will repay cellaring although it is awfully hard to resist even at this early stage. The 1998 Clos des Goisses is 65% Pinot Noir and 35% Chardonnay, partially fermented in oak. This bottle was disgorged in March 2007. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2023. Philipponnat makes a wide range of wines but the house’s fame rests squarely on the monumental Clos des Goisses, a Pinot-dominated Champagne that emerges from a 5.5 hectare vineyard in Mareuil-sur-Ay. Oddly enough Clos des Goisses remains a wine for insiders despite a track record few wines can match, as it is one of the most ageworthy Champagnes on the market. Quality throughout the rest of the range is less brilliant. ()
A brilliant, complex and broad-ranging nose offers up floral, citrus, yeast and extremely subtle red berry hints that complement perfectly the delicious, restrained and still quite youthful flavors that are very crisp and impressively precise with a medium effervescence on the deep, palate staining and lingering finish. The '98 isn't quite in the league of the superb '96 but it's not far off either and in my view, trumps the '97 and '99 as well.
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