Champagne

Harvest begins at Champagne Philipponnat
Julian Campbell - 01 September 2017

Thomas Jorez of Champagne Philipponnat shares the harvest report with Justerinis, straight from the vineyards of Clos des Goisses.

“The harvest started at Philipponnat on Thursday 31st August, with Les Cintres plots in Le Clos des Goisses. We gathered 3520 kg of grapes, after careful sorting in the vineyard during the picking, our estimation is that we had to discard around 10% of the crop. This is quite a low yield in the region, and a lower yield than last year’s on the same plots.”

“Grapes in this part of les Goisses are always very ripe, this is why we start here every year. It is the steepest and highest part of les Goisses.” “The measured density of the must (during pressing) gave us a potential alcohol at 10.80 % (this base wine without any chaptalisation will give a Champagne above 12%). It is not unusual for this part of the Goisses to give a potential above 11%.”



Charles Philipponnat tasting the final product; Clos des Goisses. 


“This year, at end of ripening season, the weather is humid and we can see the botrytis growing. As such, this balance between ripeness and the health of the grapes is what most influences our picking decisions.” “Debourbage took place overnight. We racked this morning and will transfer it to barrel early afternoon. We expect a fresh year in general, always good for the balance of the ripe areas and those wines which spend a long time sur lie.”

“Les Cintres is a top parcel, but we cannot say yet if it will be bottled as a single plot cuvée. Being a great element of Le Clos des Goisses, 100% might be used for Le Clos des Goisses vintage 2017.”

Thomas Jorez, Champagne Philipponnat


Discover the full range of Philipponnat wines online at Justerinis.com where we will soon be launching the 2008 Clos des Goisses vintage.

Krug Clos d'Ambonnay 2000
Julian Campbell - 27 July 2015

The walled garden that supplies Andrew Fairlie’s eponymous two star restaurant at Gleneagles Hotel was the setting for last week’s unveiling of Krug’s Clos d’Ambonnay 2000.  

All four vintages of this tiny .68ha jewel in the portfolio were poured, making it a unique chance to see the full Krug output from the 100% Pinot Noir walled vineyard in Ambonnay.


The vineyard itself was purchased by Krug in 1994. The village of Ambonnay has historically always provided the highest quality Pinot Noir in the  Grande Cuvée  blend and so when the opportunity came to purchase arguably the greatest Pinot Noir vineyard in the greatest Pinot Noir village in Champagne, the decision was an obvious one. A sibling for Clos du Mesnil was born, though one far rarer (Clos du Mesnil is almost three times the size). 1995 was the very first vintage, not released until 2007, and since then we have seen the 1996, 1998 and finally today, 2000 released.


Production in 2000 amounts to just 5,000 bottles, that is 415 cases, so about the size of Le Pin. The grapes were harvested in a single day - on 29th September. The 2000 vintage was a very good vintage if your vineyards avoided the hail and storms that swept across the region in July. Clos d’Ambonnay did. The dominant characteristics of the vintage were warmth with cool September nights. The harvest was a late one, allowing exceptional richness in the Pinot Noir grapes, while the rains and cool nights provided good mineral content and plentiful acidity. How does it compare to the other three vintages? The 2000 has the heady and highly complex Pinot Noir perfume of red fruit, honeycomb and spice that seems to characterise Clos d’Ambonnay, wonderful precision on the palate and currently the most minerality of all four vintages. It comes across as a fresher, more precise version of the 1995, definitely less linear than the 1996, with some of the intense and broad Pinot Noir notes of the 1998, but a greater sense of poise. To my mind it has the potential to be the best of the lot.

 


 Clos d’Ambonnay 2000

“Such a characterful, Ambonnay nose, honeycomb, raspberry, a Pinot Noir perfume that blends into herbal notes, fennel then red currant -  such crystalline clarity to the nose and with a swirl the tell-tale rich notes of truffle and honey are released. Fennel, cucumber, verbena and mint, seriously complex garden notes coming through with more air, blending seamlessly with the laser cut red fruit on display.  The palate is dry and broad, expansive and electric, with Krug’s signature golden minerality still at the forefront. The finish is pure, long and poised, with a beautifully integrated but still electrifying acidity. There are no hard edges here, just total focus and total equilibrium. Spell-binding stuff.”

 

The four vintages provided a fascinating insight into just how spectacular this walled vineyard is. 1995 was captivating from the word go. Mature and complex yet in high focus, with a vivid sense of freshness allied to a kaleidoscopic complexity. Powerful, rich, concentrated yet weightless. It offered it all, and on the day jumped pretty quickly into pole position for my desert island champagne of choice. The 1996 felt a lot younger and less expansive, the most high-wire wine in the group; precise, focused and linear. It needs some years to show its full potential. 1998 was pure pleasure, the richness of Pinot Noir fully on display, without perhaps quite the electric acidity of the 1995. Generous, perhaps the most open of all the cuvées, with stunning and very vinous Pinot Noir flavours appearing with air.