Champagne Philipponnat Royale Reserve Brut NV Magnum
Located in Ay, Philipponnat is a historic Champagne house dating back to 1522, and has long been a favourite of those in the know, not least because of their iconic Clos des Goisses. The Royal Reserve comes from grapes from Grand Cru and Premier Cru villages, with some older reserve wine - normally around 30% - added to give extra richness and complexity. Based heavily on pinot noir, which normally makes up some 70% of the blend alongside chardonnay, this is fermented in old oak, aged for three years and given an 8g dosage on release to produce an ageworthy, smooth and rich champagne that represents superb value. Expect fresh red berries, a little citrus, some lightly-toasted bread and a touch of honey at the end. The magnums are often substantially older in terms of disgorgement than the bottles, providing a more matured feel compared to buying the equivalent volume in bottle.