The corporate changes that have swept through Champagne in recent years seem sure to rob many old houses of their connection to the past. But one small jewel of a house is moving ever closer to its roots: Philipponnat.
It is one of the last houses to be run by a member of its founding family. And Charles Philipponnat is a true Champenois, descended from winemakers, cellarmasters, and growers dating back nearly 600 years.
Champagne is in Charles’ blood, which helps to explain Philipponnat’s recent resurgence. Twenty years ago, the house was known largely for one wine: the iconic Clos des Goisses, which in the 1930s became the region’s first important single-vineyard Champagne.
But under Charles, Philipponnat has created a whole portfolio of great wines. These range from two of Champagne’s finest non-vintage bruts—Royale Réserve and Reserve Rosé—to an expanding number of exceptional Champagnes de terroir. And, of course, the offerings culminate in the towering Clos des Goisses. These make for a portfolio that is, as Peter Liem has written, “one of the finest in Champagne.”