It’s official. The clocks have gone back and we’re into November, which can only mean one thing… Christmas is just around the corner. Whether you love it or loathe it, as trees go up and lights turn on all over the country, the festive season is undeniably upon us. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, we’ll be running a series of weekly promotions. Each week will have a unique theme, promoting a different brand or style of champagne.
Fittingly, we’re kicking off our festive promotions with the most famous of champagne brands: Moët & Chandon and Dom Pérignon. With a gargantuan production of around thirty million bottles annually (accounting for over one-tenth of the entire region’s), their role as image builder for the appellation as a whole cannot be overstated.
Founded in 1743 by Claude Moët, the marketing acumen of his grandson Jean-Rémy Moët initiated the brand’s international fame and mass volume production. Realising the business potential of his close friendship with Napoleon, Jean-Rémy built the emperor a replica palace – Residence de Trianon on Avenue de Champagne in Épernay; and the house eventually even named their non-vintage cuvée after the late emperor in 1869 – Impérial, a name which has lasted till this day.
Since then, Moët & Chandon have grown by acquiring other champagne estates, selling them forward and keeping their prestigious vineyards. Such large-scale production could only operate under the leadership of a truly superb Chef de Cave and in Benoît Gouez, Moët have one of the best. With a world-class ten-man oenologist team, Gouez has access to the brightest minds and palates in the region, no doubt a huge driving factor behind his success.
Now proprietors to the largest amount of land – some 1,190 hectares of rich limestone soil; and the largest extent of underground cellars – over twenty-eight kilometres, Moët & Chandon’s future is as secure as their champagnes are delicious. Almost as famous as Moët & Chandon itself, is the brand’s prestige cuvée, Dom Pérignon, a vintage champagne produced for the first time in 1921. Today, Dom Pérignon is produced under the guidance of Champagne legend and Chef de Cave Richard Geoffroy.
This week, we have special offers on Moët & Chandon non-vintage, vintage and prestige cuvée (Dom Pérignon) champagnes:
Moët & Chandon Impérial NV is the world’s most popular champagne: an assemblage of over two hundred crus with around 20-30% carefully selected reserve wines, produced in astonishing numbers with remarkable consistency year upon year, batch upon batch. Production has reached such an immense volume, the house recently invested in a new state-of-the-art winery designed solely for Impérial NV.
|Moët & Chandon Impérial NV
40% PM, 30% PN, 30% CH | Lees Ageing: 3 Years | Dosage: 9 g/l
“Much much fresher, brisker, drier and more focussed on the palate than of old but still has a certain breadth on the nose. This new cuvée (with a pale mushroom label) has a dosage of only 9 g/l (much lower than it used to be) and they claim that it is given 24 months on lees before three months in bottle after disgorgement. Most unfortunately I have no way of knowing whether every single one of the 20 million bottles of this wine taste as good as this … but my particular bottle certainly deserves the enthusiastic score.” – Jancis Robinson MW 16.5/20
Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2009 is the 73rd Grand Vintage produced and is the first Pinot Noir dominant vintage since 1996. Each Grand Vintage is a unique and original interpretation of the individual year, produced according to three essential values: freedom of interpretation; selection of the year’s most remarkable wines; and individuality of the vintage.
|Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2009
50% PN, 36% CH, 14% PM | Lees Ageing: 7 Years | Disgorged: January 2017 | Dosage: 5 g/l | Post-Disgorgement Ageing: 22 Months
“Fine and rather majestic with an attractive savoury spine. Lots of fun and bumptious fruit and attraction. Lightly bitter finish. Quite long. A very good Grand Vintage. Melon-like fruit.” – Jancis Robinson MW 17-/20
Dom Pérignon 2009 was the first vintage of Moët & Chandon’s prestige cuvée to be released in non-consecutive order (released before Dom Pérignon 2008). A difficult year initially was transformed by a perfect August of uninterrupted hot and dry weather, which produced grapes of incredible ripeness, reflected in Geoffroy’s decision to use a much lower dosage – just 4 g/l.
|Dom Pérignon 2009
60% PN, 40% CH | Lees Ageing: 6 Years | Disgorged: 2016 | Dosage: 4 g/l | Post-Disgorgement Ageing: 2 Years
“Very pale, very youthful nose. Lots of zest and freshness. Introvert and tight. But approachable in terms of texture. The flavour is not fully formed yet but it’s already a pleasure to drink from the point of view of balance, presumably thanks to the relatively low acidity. Light hint of bitterness on the end. Length. Palate-enrobing! Lovely texture.” – Jancis Robinson MW 18+/20