Posted 20 hours ago

Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2015, Gift Box, 75cl

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Moet & Chandon was founded as Moet et Cie in 1743 by Claude Moet.At the end of the 18 th century, Claude's grandson Jean-Remy Moet took over the business and introduced Champagne and the Moet brand to the rest of the world.It wasn't until 1833, when Jean-Remy’s son-in-law, Pierre-Gabriel Chandon de Briailles, joined the business that the House was renamed Moet & Chandon. Today, Grand Vintage represents a small fraction of Moët & Chandon’s output, similar in proportion to many other houses’ vintage Champagne. As a result, chef de cave Benoît Gouez can focus solely on quality, with full freedom of expression and little pressure to declare it. In fact, Gouez says there are very few rules in the making of Grand Vintage. He uses base wines that reflect the best qualities of the year’s harvest from Moët’s incomparably rich source, meaning the varietal blend can vary greatly from vintage to vintage. Some blends are dominated by Pinot Noir and others by Chardonnay, but surprisingly, Meunier can play a key role, too. (In 2003, Meunier registered a 43% share, proving that there really are no recipes when it comes to Grand Vintage.) A bright lemon-yellow hue with luminous glints, fine bubbles and a creamy mousse. A TENDER AND VEGETAL BOUQUET The bouquet appears restrained at first and suggests a soft and fresh world of white and green. The first notes of baked bread (bread crumb, fresh brioche, marzipan) give way to elderflower and jasmine, then to fruity notes such as white peach and watermelon. Notes of garrigue at dawn complete the bouquet. A FRANK, ENVELOPING PALATE It was not until 1842, 99 years after the foundation of the house, that Moët & Chandon produced its first vintage Champagne. In total, a mere 13 vintages saw the light of day in the 19th century, followed by much more frequent releases in the 1900s. The major turning point came in 1921, when the house bottled its first ever Dom Pérignon cuvée alongside its regular vintage release. Between 1921 and 1943, the wine inside both iterations was in fact one and the same, and even after production diverged, the wines coexisted in the Moët & Chandon portfolio for several decades. Dom Pérignon, however, was the cuvée de prestige and attracted most of the attention, as well as rapidly increasing in production volume. Its success meant that the standard Moët vintage was edged out of the limelight. On the plus side, though, for those in the know, the quality of the Vintage was always there – and indeed, the wine could be seen as very much undervalued compared to its more famous cousin.

A bright lemon-yellow hue with luminous glints, fine bubbles and a creamy mousse. A TENDER, VEGETAL BOUQUET Moet Imperial Brut is the House's iconic champagne bottle. Created in 1869, it embodies the unique Moet & Chandon style; a style that distinguishes itself by its bright fruitiness, seductive palate, and elegant maturity. The nose first expresses itself with restraint, subtly hinting a soft and fresh white-green universe. Initial notes of breadcrumbs, fresh brioche and almond paste give way to elderflower and jasmine, then to fruit such as white peach and watermelon. Notes of garrigue at dawn complete the ensemble. A FRANK AND ENVELOPING PALATE I’m interested in showing a touch of noble bitterness in the wines, something beyond just acidity, for a more acquired taste,’ Gouez says in reference to the modest 5g/l sugar addition for hot, potentially phenolic vintages. Moving the style away from the more crowd-pleasing aspects of the house’s non-vintage bottlings is evident in the 2015 Grand Vintage, while the Grand Vintage Rosé goes a step further in boldly expressing its warm vintage Pinot Noir red wine component in both colour and character.

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