Among Giants

When it first made Clos des Goisses in 1935, Philipponnat invented the concept of the single-vineyard Champagne. And the house has continued to explore that magical site with the creation of Clos des Goisses Juste Rosé in 1999 and Les Cintres in 2006. (The latter cuvée isolates the lieu-dit that's at Clos des Goisses' heart.)

For decades, because of Clos des Goisses' greatness, Philipponnat saw no need for a blended tête du cuvée like Moët's Dom Pérignon, Roederer's Cristal and Tattinger's Comtes de Champagne. Clos des Goisses filled that role beautifully.

But Charles Philipponnat had long believed that the house should have a tête du cuvée, a grand vin that's a blend of vineyards and represents Philipponnat's soul. And so in 2000, he launched his new "1522" tête du cuvée, named for the year his family became growers in Aÿ. 

But rather than follow the lead of  Dom Pérignon, Cristal and Comtes de Champagne—whose production numbers in the millions of bottles—Charles makes just 12,000 bottles of 1522. And for now, the price is a bargain.

The 2008 Cuvée 1522 reflects the greatness of the vintage and is the cuvée's most profound expression yet.  It's a Champagne you'll want in your cellar.

Beyond Terroir

Cuvée 1522 showcases the incredible Pinot Noir of Aÿ's Le Léon vineyard, the iconic grand cru site where Charles' family was growing grapes 30 years after Columbus discovered America.

But Charles believed that an even greater wine would be made by marrying the richness of approximately 60% Pinot Noir from Le Léon with the minerality of 40% Chardonnay from possibly its greatest terroir in Champagne, Le Mesnil. So great was Charles’ confidence in his wine in 2008 that he gave it a full eight years on the lees before disgorgement—the same as for 2008 Clos des Goisses and 2008 Les Cintres. 

And Charles’ bet paid off. The 2008 Cuvée 1522 is a masterpiece for this 16th-generation winemaker, also reminding us why 2008 is being compared to 1928, for its rare concentration of both sugars and acids.

Reviews So Far

To date, the only major U.S. critics to review the wine have been The Wine Advocate’s Stephen Reinhardt and Vinous' Antonio Galloni. While Reinhardt calls it “extraordinary,” Galloni describes the 2008 Cuvée 1522 as “super-impressive” and “wonderfully rich, creamy and expansive in all its dimensions.”

Peter Liem’s note has yet to appear, but we expect comparable praise, since he called the 2006 Cuvée 1522 “one of the finest champagnes that I’ve tasted yet from this vintage,” awarding it his highest 3-star rating.

The 2008 Cuvée 1522 is a transcendent expression of this great vintage. 

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