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Philipponnat 'Royale Réserve' Non-Dosé, Champagne, France NV

  • $66.00

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CHARDONNAY, PINOT NOIR, and PINOT MEUNIER
BROAD & TOASTY and MINERAL
SUSTAINABLE FARMING
CRITIC SCORE 90+
VALLÉE DE LA MARNE and CHAMPAGNE
FRANCE

Philipponnat 'Royale Réserve' Brut, Champagne, France NV

Although the family can trace its Champagne roots back to 1522, the modern house was founded in 1910 by Pierre and Auguste Philipponnat. Pierre acquired Champagne’s single oldest vineyard, the Clos des Goisses monopole in 1935
and the estate remains best known for both the prestige cuvée from this unique site, and for their rich, complex Pinot Noir-based blends. Philipponnat has risen to even greater heights since the appointment of Auguste’s grandson, Charles Philipponnat, as director in 1999.

Philipponnat owns 18 hectares of predominantly Pinot Noir vines on the steep chalk slopes in the southern Montagne de Reims villages of Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, Aÿ, Avenay and Mutigny. The estate augments this with fruit purchased from long-term grower relationships in the best terroirs of the Côte des Blancs, Montagne de Reims, Vallée de la Marne, and Riceys.

Chef de Cave: Thierry Garnier 

Varieties: 65% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, 5% Pinot Meunier

Terroir:  A mixture of chalk-derived clays.

Vinification: First press juice of mainly Grand and Premier Crus grapes from the heart of the Champagne wine-growing area. 20% to 30% of reserve wines are aged in wooden barrels using the solera system to incorporate older wines without losing freshness. Vinified using traditional methods to avoid premature oxidation. Partial malolactic fermentation and reserve wines aged in casks to allow the aromas to develop complexity. Undosed (0 g/litre) to reveal the wine's full character and purity.

Aging: Aged on the lees in the House’s cellars at a constant temperature of 12°C for three years, far longer than the legal minimum requirement of 15 months.

From our January 2024 Club notes:

Philipponnat 'Royale Réserve' Non-Dosé, Champagne, France NV

The Philipponnat family has a rich history in the Champagne region, dating back to the 16th century. The family's involvement in winemaking began with Apvril Philipponnat, who established the family's first vineyard in Aÿ in 1522. Over the centuries, the Philipponnat name became synonymous with quality and tradition. The family-run winery (now in its ninth generation) has consistently embraced a philosophy of producing wines that reflect their rich terroir. Their vineyards are primarily located in the renowned Grand Cru village of Aÿ, known for its exceptional Pinot Noir grapes, but today they also source grapes from growers with whom they have multi-generational relationships.

This non-dosé Champagne– meaning it is produced without the addition of any dosage, or sugar, after disgorgement– is a newer bottling than the traditional non-vintage brut Champagnes the house has produced. The cuveé includes 65% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, 5% Pinot Meunier, sourced from Grand and Premier Crus vineyards in the heart of Champagne. Up to 30% reserve wine is used from the house’s perpetual solera of older wines (hence, the name ‘Royale Réserve’).  Aged on its lees in the House’s cellars for three years, this Champagne far exceeds the legal minimum requirement of 15 months, helping to produce a bone dry Champagne that still is surprisingly rich on the palate. The nose has delicate aromas of orange blossom and chamomile, but the palate is zesty and crisp, with notes of gooseberry, green mango and white sesame. Pair it with delicate seafoods like crudo or sushi. This wine will also age well, so you can cellar it for up to five years! —Simi Grewal