Philipponnat Royale Reserve Brut
Royale Réserve Brut is the purest expression of the House’s style. Deep gold in color with aromas of vine blossom, linden, and toasted bread. Notes of redcurrant, raspberry, and ripe grape. Full-bodied, generous and long. Enhances hot or cold white meats, poultry, and premium charcuterie. An ideal complement to cold buffets, fish, and seafood.
Blend: 65% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, 5% Pinot Meunier
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A fragrant element of lightly toasted hazelnut is a rich base note in this fine and creamy Champagne, layered with finely meshed flavors of baked white cherry, lemon curd, spun honey and pickled ginger. Plush in texture, with a fine spine of lemony acidity providing focus and definition.
Plenty of lemons, nectarines, sliced apples, tarte tatin and pastries on the nose, leading to a silky and creamy palate. Succulent stone-fruit notes. Well integrated bubbles. 69% pinot noir, 28% chardonnay and 3% pinot meunier.
Based on the 2018 vintage and disgorged in early 2022, the latest rendition of Philipponnat's NV Brut Royale Réserve delivers aromas of crisp pear, stone fruits and fresh bread, followed by a medium to full-bodied, ample and enveloping palate. Charming and pillowy, it's a giving wine that will show well on release.
The current release of the NV Champagne Royale Reserve Brut is 69% Pinot Noir, 28% Chardonnay, and the rest Meunier, mostly from the 2018 harvest and 26% reserve wine. It has a pale straw color and is fresh with white flowers, ripe peach, and rounded brioche. The palate is approachable and refreshing, with pithy citrus of lemon and orange, red fruits, and bread dough. Its ripe but fresh style casts a large net. Best after 2022.
The Philipponnat family have been growing grapes in Champagne since 1522. The House was founded in 1910 by Pierre Philipponnat. Charles Philipponnat took over as CEO in 1999 and has improved the quality and production vastly by implementing smaller oak barrels, keeping different vineyard plots separate and utilizing only the first press. The jewel in the crown of the House is the historic and iconic 5.5 hectares 'Clos des Goisses' vineyard that sits on a steep, south-facing 45° slope starting at the Marne River. This is one of the warmest vineyard sites in all of Champagne and is planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In 1935 'Clos des Goisses' was the first single vineyard Champagne produced and it would take over 50 years for other Houses to start producing serious Champagne just from a single Clos.
Philipponnat applies natural methods to work the soil, hoeing by hand and plowing with horses. The House's expertise is particularly apparent in its use of the solera process. This technique is a very longstanding House tradition; it consists of keeping reserve wines in oak barrels and including them in non-vintage blends (in a proportion of one quarter to one third) and using this blend as a reserve wine for the following blend.
This progressive dilution allows every bottle to retain a trace of previous years' wines blended since the very beginning. Successive Cellar Masters have attached great importance to handing down this expertise. Philipponnat was the first Champagne House to indicate the main year used in its non-vintage blends, the dosage, and the date of disgorgement on back labels, informing consumers and wine experts of the characteristics of each cuvée.
Associated with luxury, celebration, and romance, the region, Champagne, is home to the world’s most prized sparkling wine. In order to bear the label, ‘Champagne’, a sparkling wine must originate from this northeastern region of France—called Champagne—and adhere to strict quality standards. Made up of the three towns Reims, Épernay, and Aÿ, it was here that the traditional method of sparkling wine production was both invented and perfected, birthing a winemaking technique as well as a flavor profile that is now emulated worldwide.
Well-drained, limestone and chalky soil defines much of the region, which lend a mineral component to its wines. Champagne’s cold, continental climate promotes ample acidity in its grapes but weather differences from year to year can create significant variation between vintages. While vintage Champagnes are produced in exceptional years, non-vintage cuvées are produced annually from a blend of several years in order to produce Champagnes that maintain a consistent house style.
With nearly negligible exceptions, . These can be blended together or bottled as individual varietal Champagnes, depending on the final style of wine desired. Chardonnay, the only white variety, contributes freshness, elegance, lively acidity and notes of citrus, orchard fruit and white flowers. Pinot Noir and its relative Pinot Meunier, provide the backbone to many blends, adding structure, body and supple red fruit flavors. Wines with a large proportion of Pinot Meunier will be ready to drink earlier, while Pinot Noir contributes to longevity. Whether it is white or rosé, most Champagne is made from a blend of red and white grapes—and uniquely, rosé is often produce by blending together red and white wine. A Champagne made exclusively from Chardonnay will be labeled as ‘blanc de blancs,’ while ones comprised of only red grapes are called ‘blanc de noirs.’
A term typically reserved for Champagne and Sparkling Wines, non-vintage or simply “NV” on a label indicates a blend of finished wines from different vintages (years of harvest). To make non-vintage Champagne, typically the current year’s harvest (in other words, the current vintage) forms the base of the blend. Finished wines from previous years, called “vins de reserve” are blended in at approximately 10-50% of the total volume in order to achieve the flavor, complexity, body and acidity for the desired house style. A tiny proportion of Champagnes are made from a single vintage.
There are also some very large production still wines that may not claim one particular vintage. This would be at the discretion of the winemaker’s goals for character of the final wine.