For almost 500 years, the Philipponnat family have been leaving their mark on the Champagne region. Generations and generations of men and women have worked the land at Aÿ, the family’s home since Apvril le Philipponnat first owned vines in 1522. That year, 1522, now forms the name of one of their most sought-after wines.
When Charles Philipponnat took the reins of his familial house, he created Cuvée 1522 in order to celebrate the legacy of his name. Two Champagnes, the 1522 and the 1522 Rosé, are crafted from the domaine’s most exceptional Grands Crus wines and cellar aged for 6-8 years. This summer, Charles Philipponnat is releasing three new vintages: 1522 Grand Cru 2014, 1522 Rosé 2012 and 1522 Grand Cru LV 2000.
The main releases – Cuvée 1522 2014 and the Cuvée 1522 Rosé 2012 – are both rooted in Pinot Noir as is the trademark style of Champagne Philipponnat. In the case of these two wines, the Pinot Noir grapes that make up 81% and 62% respectively of the blend, come primarily from the historic Léon vineyard where Apvril le Philipponnat was recorded as owning those first vines.The Rosé also boasts 11% of Pinot Noir from the Clos des Goisses, one of the most prestigious vineyards in Champagne, vinified as a still red wine. Freshness is preserved through vinifying a portion of the wines in wooden barrels without malolactic fermentation and ageing on lees for eight years. Indeed, the result is two beautifully complex wines, fresh and generous and still with the potential to develop over the next ten years.
This potential is demonstrated by Philipponnat’s third release this summer – the Cuvée 1522 Grand Cru LV 2000. After 20 years of ageing on the lees in the 18th-century cellars of the house, the 2000 has only recently been disgorged, in March 2021. A limited release of only 300 bottles, this back vintage offers all the complexity and freshness you would expect.
Speaking on the impressive structure of this wine Charles Philipponnat says: ‘Rediscovering vintage 2000, 20 years later with additional depth but pristine freshness, came as a proof of the ability of our Le Léon vineyard in Aÿ to yield outstanding fruit. Making “1522” a staple feature in Philipponnat’s range was the right choice; I’d happily drink all 300 bottles myself if given enough time.’
Each of these new vintage releases is a testament to not only the heritage of the Philipponnat family, but to their expert use and understanding of Pinot Noir and to their history in Le Léon.