The 2012 vintage in Champagne is highly regarded – representatives of the major houses have suggested the quality on show is even ahead of such great vintages as 1990 and 1996, while others have compared it to 1959 and 2002. Certainly, the 2012s that I have been fortunate enough to taste have really shone, so I am pleased to be offering the 2012 Extra Brut Cuvée 1522 Rosé from Philipponnat. 2012 favoured Pinot Noir so the chance to taste a wine like this comprising 73% Pinot Noir held plenty of interest and it did not disappoint.
Champagne Philipponnat is based in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, and is famous for the walled single vineyard Clos des Goisses. There is a French saying that wine writer Michael Edwards once quoted, ‘Aÿ le nom, Mareuil le bon’, which suggests that there are wines in Mareuil that can rival the very best of Aÿ, a much lauded, more famous, neighbouring village which is home to Bollinger amongst others. With holdings in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, Avenay, as well as Aÿ itself, Philipponnat is renowned as an outstanding producer of age-worthy Champagne, and while their Grand Cru Clos des Goisses may rightly steal the headlines, there are other wines in their range that are well worth your attention. In fact, there isn’t a wine that Philipponnat make that isn’t deserving of your attention, but it is their vintage wines that have earned them an exceptional reputation.
The Cuvée 1522 is so named as it commemorates the year that the Philipponnat family first moved to the region. This Rosé is based on fruit grown in Grand Cru classified vineyards and comprises 62% of Grand Cru Pinot Noir vinified as a Blanc de Noirs, blended with 27% Grand Cru Chardonnay and then 11% of a still Pinot Noir vinified as red wine from Premier Cru vineyards in Mareuil is incorporated to make a beautiful rosé. No critics have yet reviewed the 2012 Rosé so please see my note below.