The Grand Vintage Blanc (rsp £44) and Grand Vintage Rosé (rsp: £59) stem from the 2008 Vintage, which is a harvest described by Chef de Cave Benoit Gouez as “fresh and uncompromising, with acidity as the defining characteristic”.
Gouez, who has been head winemaker for Moet & Chandon since 2005, describes each Grand Vintage Cuvee as ‘Vintage by Moet & Chandon’ and his personal expression of a particular year.
“If our Imperial is about consistency, then Grand Vintage is about individuality,” he said. “I always use all three grape varieties, but there is no set assemblage.”
The new 2008 Blanc and Rosé are the 72nd and 41st releases in the House’s Vintage history, which dates back to 1842.
He noted that 2008 was one of the cooler years of the last decade with temperatures similar to 2004 and 1998. The winter was mild and the summer cool but dry.
“September was the key month though: the initial rains were swept away by a north-westerly wind that instilled an unwavering vigour in the three grape varietals, and a fresh and uncompromising acidity, which is this year’s defining characteristic.”
The Grand Vintage Blanc 2008 is an assemblage of 40% Chardonnay, 37% Pinot Noir and 23% Meunier. The Rosé variant (available from September) is a blend of 46% Pinot Noir (of which 20% is red wine), with 32% Chardonnay (a lower proportion than in previous vintages due to the acidity in the grapes) and 22% Meunier. Goeuz said the wine is “vivid, brilliant deep pink in colour with a fine bead”.
Moet & Chandon has also unveiled the Grand Trilogy Blanc, which is a wooden gift box comprising the new Grand Vintage 2008 Blanc alongside the Grand Vintage Collection 1998 and 1988.
“We like to associate our latest Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage with others in the Grand Vintage Collection that share certain characteristics, or that complement one another in a specific way,” he said.
The Trilogy, which is packaged in a wooden gift box, will be available to the off-trade at a price of £173.