Thursday, April 16, 2009
Driving back home this morning from the Côte des Blancs, I stopped at the Clos des Goisses in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ to have a look at the vines. The steep, south-facing Clos is a notoriously warm site, and it's no surprise that the vegetation is a little more advanced here than in other places, as you can see from this photo of pinot noir in the parcel of Le Châlet, in the heart of the Clos. Here, then, are the beginnings of the 2009 Clos des Goisses, which won't be released for nearly another decade. But just seeing the budding vines is enough to whet the appetite.
At Royal Champagne with friends last night, we drank the 1995 Clos des Goisses, which continues to not only be the wine of the vintage for me, but also my favorite Clos des Goisses of the 1990s. A seamless blend of complexity, richness and finesse, it's still youthful and tightly wound, needing the better part of an hour to reveal its true core of depth, yet it feels so effortless in its graceful harmony and aristocratic elegance. For all of its pure, succulently detailed fruit, it thrives on clarity and balance rather than power, anchored vividly by a signature minerality that will surely become more smoky and pungent with time. Time, of course, is the only element needed to complete this wine—Clos des Goisses is renowned for its extraordinary longevity, and there's no reason why this wine shouldn't continue to develop for at least another decade or two. I would love to be able to drink it in 2029.