To the eye : Sparkling light gold, with a fine, delicate froth. With the nose : A fruity, citrus nose (bergamot), with confectionary and pastry notes (vanilla cream, brioche, almonds). With the mouth : The attack is fresh and slightly tannic, with notes of tea and lemongrass. The aromas of bergamot are prolonged by spicy notes—typical of Pinot Noir—and a hint of honey. The finish is creamy, yet finely balanced by a lively minerality.
International Wine CellarBright yellow. Leesy, deeply pungent aromas of buttered pear and apple, with a strong impression of jasmine. Deeply concentrated and powerful on the palate, the pear flavor almost liqueur-like in intensity, with a solid frame of minerality and a building toffee note. Finishes with a depth charge of talc-y minerality and a lingering impression of sweet butter. Don't even think of opening one of these for at least another five years.
Connoisseurs' Guide to California WinesSurprisingly dry and austere with just enough champenized richness and toast to keep itself in the ranks of the commended bottlings, the 1996 version of Clos des Goisses will certainly not disappoint on its own, but it comes at a price and competes head-on with so many better bottlings that it falls off the top of our list of tete de cuvee Champagnes.