Champagne Philipponnat Royale Réserve Non Dosé
Price for The Champagne Society members: $64
The Champagne region is France’s northernmost production zone. It is at the very limits of vine cultivation. The finest vineyard sites, both in soil and microclimate, are an important factor in determining the quality of wine produced. Champagne Philipponnatis particularly advantaged in this regard. Their 42 acres lie mainly in the Grand and Premier Cru villages of Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, Aÿ, Mutigny, and Avenay-Val-d’Or, all part of the subregion of Vallée de la Marne, noted for its powerful Pinot Noir grown on south-facing slopes. Philipponnat is especially recognized for their small but prized parcel, Clos des Goisses — one of the most powerful and distinctive sites in all of Champagne.
As might be expected, Champagne Philipponnat Royale Réserve Non Dosé is produced from a large proportion of Pinot Noir (65%). The rest is mainly Chardonnay (30%) and Pinot Meunier (5%). The Champagne Society is receiving the current release wine, consisting of 71% 2014 vintage juice and the remainder reserve wines that are aged in wooden barrels using the solera system to incorporate older wines without losing freshness. As this cuvée’s label indicates with the term “Non Dosé,” there is no added sugar after disgorgement.
Philipponnat claims to be the first Champagne House to clearly label its bottles with the main year used in blending, the dosage, and the date of disgorgement. In this case, we know the wine to have been disgorged in August of 2018, putting it right in the suggested window for drinking (although it can be aged for several years).
Perhap Philipponnat’s Cellar Master describes this wine best: “This cuvée reveals the wine’s basic sensory qualities through its total absence of sugar and offers a subtle blend of aromatic precision (citrus notes, orange zest), minerality and vinosity. A dazzling and genuine expression of the Philipponnat style.”
Led by Charles Philipponnat since 2000, Champagne Philipponnat remains a small house with a hands on approach at all levels. Over the past two decades under Charles’ leadership, they have built new production facilities and have steadily worked to improve viticulture through a more sustainable approach. Champagne Philipponnat is widely considered one of the top producers of sparkling wine in the world.