"Vintage production is just 1% of the house, making this cuvée significantly less than 300,000 bottles. Gouez has replaced ‘Moët & Chandon Vintage’ with ‘Vintage by Moët & Chandon’, with labels of bold vintage declaration, to focus more on the style of the season than the house. He is looking for four things in a vintage: sufficient maturity of at least 9.5 degrees potential, no rot, ageing potential from either acidity or phenolic structure, and finally character – something special, not simply the stamp of the season.
‘The idea is not to follow a recipe, but to listen to the wines and create a vintage with uniqueness and charisma,’ he says. The blend and the selection of parcels change to reflect the character of the season, looking for those that are most interesting and original. ‘We start from scratch. I choose the grapes from anywhere I want, and I don’t care if it’s meunier or if it isn’t grand cru.’ The maturation has also evolved, with Grand Vintage previously released after five years on lees and now after seven, allowing the dosage to be lowered to just 5g/L.
Disgorgement date, dosage and blend are clearly displayed on the back label – impressive detail for a house of this magnitude. The vivacious 2008 season leads out with fresh, dynamic lemon, apple and pear fruit, defining a style of well focused acid line and tension. It’s ageing slowly and incrementally, upholding a primary freshness and taut acid line that call for time to soften. The biscuity, spicy, honeyed, brioche complexity of almost a decade of age is yet subtle, supporting nuances of struck-flint reduction, finishing dry, with some bitter phenolic grip. Will live long."
Tyson Stelzer - The Champagne Guide 2018-2019
40% chardonnay, 37% pinot noir, 23% meunier; aged 7 years on lees; 5g/L dosage; DIAM closure