MOËT & CHANDON GRAND VINTAGE: ACT OF FREEDOM of the chef de cave
A Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage expresses an exceptional year in Champagne.
The Chef de Cave decides to declare a vintage based on his personal assessment of the harvest. A distinct act of freedom, the Chef de Cave is at liberty to create a mature, complex and assertive champagne with a personality all its own.
A Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage is, after all, a champagne that will be eternally unique.
It is the first, last and only champagne of its kind.
It is the ultimate tribute to a period of time, a declaration of the Maison to a special year.
A Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage seizes the moment.
It holds a unique story that is retold in an instant, the second the cork is popped.
It is living history. Discover it, savor it NOW.
Over the years, each time a Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage is released, it becomes part of the Maison’s Grand Vintage Collection. This is one of the Champagne region’s most prestigious and valuable collections of vintage wines dating back to 1842.
The Grand Vintage Collection, the finest of the Maison’s fine wines, celebrates winemaking excellence and savoir-faire.
EXPERIENCE GRAND VINTAGE 2008 THROUGH THE EYES OF BENOÎT GOUEZ
In 2016, Moët & Chandon unveils its Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2008, the Maison’s 72nd vintage champagne. Discover this most luxurious interpretation of a year by sitting down with Benoît Gouez, Moët & Chandon’s Chef de Cave, and the master behind the vintage.
Benoît Gouez has been Moët & Chandon’s Chef de Cave since 2005. He is part of the unbroken chain of savoir-faire and knowledge that has been handed down, from
Chef de Cave to Chef de Cave, for more than 270 years. Benoît and his team are behind each and every one of Moët & Chandon’s delicious champagnes, crafting their unique style: bright fruitiness, an enticing palate and an elegant maturity.
#savortheNOW, and experience the new Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2008 by seeing it through Benoît Gouez’s eyes.
What made you decide to declare 2008 a vintage year for Moët & Chandon?
Benoît Gouez: 2008 was a “cool” year in terms of temperature. The mild winter and rainy, grey spring continued on to a cool but dry summer. September was the month that made all the difference. Initially, rains prevailed over the vineyards. But these were swept away by a northwesterly wind that instilled an unwavering vigor in the three grape varietals. The vines braved the chill, and throughout the growing period were bathed in pale light – a February eclipse, a pale summer sun. This ultimately gave us healthy, properly ripened grape clusters with a unique lively character that is expressed in our new Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2008.
How did the year’s conditions shape Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2008?
Benoît Gouez: The cool conditions and smooth harvest gave us grapes with fresh and uncompromising acidity – this is the year’s defining characteristic. There is a certain pale, pastel nature that makes the acidity pleasant and accessible, and never too aggressive. This is a linear, focused champagne. Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2008 has a reserved and elegant personality, with an acute maturity.
How would you describe the champagne Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2008?
Benoît Gouez: Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2008 has a bouquet that makes me think of springtime! The initial floral notes are of linden, honeysuckle and acacia with citrus nuances evocative of bergamot and mandarin orange zest, along with a dash of anise and green tomato. Following are notes of just-ripe stone fruits – white peach, nectarine and Mirabelle plums. The bouquet is completed by gentle scents of pastry, brioche, frangipane, almonds and vanilla with a slight hint of pepper.
We describe Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2008’s lively palate as buff. The underlying acidity orients the linear, focused palate; the tautness is enveloped and channeled by the texture of succulent notes of white fruits which envelop and channel the freshness toward a vibrant, mouthwatering finish with a lingering note of citrus fruit.
What is the best way to experience Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2008? Is there a specific glass that you would recommend?
Benoît Gouez: I think that Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2008 is best enjoyed between
10-12°C. If it’s overly chilled, you risk losing some of the wine’s elegance and nuance. Personally I also like to enjoy it in a larger wineglass to appreciate the expanding aroma and flavors.
What is the assemblage?
Benoît Gouez: Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2008 is an extra-brut champagne and comprised of 40% Chardonnay, 37% Pinot Noir, and 23% Meunier. Its dosage is 5 g/litre.
Why is Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2008 part of a trilogy with Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Collection 1998 and Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Collection 1988?
Benoît Gouez: At Moët & Chandon we like to associate our latest
Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage with others in the Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Collection that share certain characteristics, or that complement one another in a specific way. It is such a pleasure to taste these champagnes together, as part of a vertical tasting, or at a special lunch or dinner.
This is our idea in including the new Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2008 with
Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Collection 1998 and Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Collection 1988. Both of these champagnes, coincidentally ending in “8”, represent a specific aspect inherent in the new 2008.
Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Collection 1998, for example, is very sophisticated, and possesses an undeniable, delicate finesse. It echoes the pale elegance of
Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2008, and projects its maturation into the future.
Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Collection 1988, meanwhile, is very fresh with a focused palate. For me this vintage evokes a certain greyness, the iodine quality of being seaside, or even rain falling on a warm stone. In this way, it channels those very fresh, linear and focused aspects of the new Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2008, making them an experience to drink side-by-side.
Moët & Chandon GRAND VINTAGE ROSÉ 2008: A MODERN VINTAGE, A LEGENDARY ROSÉ SAVOIR-FAIRE
The Maison’s 41st rosé vintage, Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Rosé 2008, is a floral and fruity wine with floral notes of rose and hawthorn, with botanical nuances of boxwood and lime zest followed by fruity, fresh notes of raspberry, cherry and blood orange. On the palate, the first impression is one of succulence and fullness, with notes of more mature fruits like strawberries and blackcurrants. Subsequently, the wine extends itself, underlain by a delicate, finely-wrought structure and taut acidity. The finish is invigorating, with a persistent note of grapefruit. Overall, the flavor profile is straightforward and precise.
Indeed, Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Rosé 2008 carries on the Maison’s great rosé champagne tradition. The legendary rosé tale begins as early as 1794. This is the vintage year of the 100 bottles of “Rozé” that Napoleon Bonaparte and his mother purchased from Jean-Rémy Moët in 1801. It continues on to 1878, the year of Moët & Chandon’s oldest existing bottle of vintage rosé champagne, and a powerful living symbol of unrivalled rosé heritage. And finally to 1997, the date from which Moët Rosé Impérial has been available as a non-vintage under the Rosé Impérial label, with rosé vintage champagnes still released only in exceptional years. Grand Vintage Rosé 2008 is the latest incarnation of the Maison’s rosé savoir-faire, and carries on a great tradition in the most modern of ways.
Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Rosé 2008 has an assemblage of 46% Pinot Noir (of which 20% red wine), 32% Chardonnay, and 22% Meunier. The dosage is 5 g/litre.
Like the Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2008, Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Rosé 2008 is also part of an exceptional “trilogy” – and happens to be associated with the same two Grand Vintage Collection years! Tasted together, Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Rosé 2008, Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Collection Rosé 1998 and Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Collection Rosé 1988 create a beautiful sequence that explores the facets of Moët & Chandon’s rosé savoir-faire.