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J&B releases rare parcel of Clos des Goisses

Described as “one of Champagne’s true greats”, Justerini & Brooks is selling a rare vertical of Philipponnat’s top cuvée – Clos des Goisses.

If you missed out on Tesco’s £499 Methuselah of Lanson White Label Champagne, J&B has something a little more classy on offer. Philipponnat’s Clos des Goisses is up there with Krug’s Clos du Mesnil as one of the greatest single vineyard Champagnes out there. “The vineyard must be only a few hectares and by no means all of it goes into Clos des Goisses,” said Giles Burke-Gaffney, buying director at the Diageo-owned fine wine merchant “To have an uninterrupted vertical from 1991 to 2005 is pretty extraordinary.”

The wines, from Philipponnat’s own stocks, were requested by J&B and amount to 3-4 cases of each vintage, with prices up to £530 for a 1996 magnum. That such stocks are available is “very wise”, said Burke-Gaffney. “Clos des Goisses is something that ages very well. It’s a very intense wine, so it needs time.” As for demand, he reckoned: “People are still very excited about Champagne, and the fact they are branching out and looking beyond Bordeaux as no doubt helped.”

Armand de Brignac 30L Melchizedek not yet in Tesco

In terms of a secondary market for Clos des Guises, he added: “There is a following, though I wouldn’t say that has turned it into an investment yet. But if you look at Champagnes from good vintages and top houses, people are starting to put them away so I think it will happen.”

As for Lanson’s Methuselah, he said: “Large format sales have gone through the roof in the last five years, especially with Champagne because it’s always more exciting when things are rarer.” It seems even the big houses have been caught out by the strength of demand for bottles in biblical proportions. Burke-Gaffney believes: “A case of wine in one bottle is more than anyone needs.” The current super-sized Champagne is the 30 litre Melchizedek. It’s not yet available in Tesco – maybe next Christmas?

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