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Clos des Goisses 1951 - 1998

by Tom Stevenson

I was just weeks away from delivering a Christie’s Champagne Masterclass to a sell-out audience. The problem was, I'd be so busy with book-writing deadlines that nothing was in place and no theme had been decided. Lucy Marshall, the marketing manager at Christie’s Education, was diplomatically fending off enquiries from ticketholders who, not unreasonably, wanted to know what they would be getting for their money.

There is a plot of land in Champagne so blessed in location and aspect that it can achieve a good level of natural ripeness year in and year out: Clos des Goisses. Then I remembered Charles Philipponnat being unable to supply some old vintages for a dinner because he had "so few left," but saying that he might change his mind for a "special" tasting. So I fired off an e-mail to see if my Christie’s Champagne Masterclass was "special" enough.

After a flurry of e-mails, the deal was done, and with it the sigh of relief from Christie’s Education was almost audible.

Soon, a line-up of 13 vintages of Clos des Goisses stretching back 56 years was in place. This was a remarkable opportunity to taste these wines, and The World of Fine Wine magazine commissioned me to write the story of Clos des Goisses and of course, the tasting. With their permission wine-pages visitors may now download the .pdf version of the entire article.

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The World of Fine Wine magazine is devoted to wine and all thing vinous. Contributors include Jancis Robinson, Michael Broadbent and Michel Bettane amongst many others, under the editorial leadership of Hugh Johnson, Andrew Jefford and Neil Beckett. The World of Fine Wine is offering wine-pages visitors 20% off a subscription. Click here for details.