As the world’s best-selling champagne brand, Möet & Chandon is a name that is now synonymous with opulence and luxury. Founded by Claude Möet in 1743, the wine-maker had an unequalled finesse and visionary mind that developed the most sought-after Champagne in Europe. This pioneering spirit was passed down to his grandson, Remy Möet, who grew the brand into the international success that it is today as the largest wine producer in the Champagne region. As such, it should come as no surprise that the brand has chosen to celebrate its 280th anniversary with not one but two limited-edition releases.
The first is an original variation of the house’s signature Imperial champagne entitled Collection Impériale Création No. 1. Introduced in 1869, Möet Imperial champagne combines more than 100 different wines to create a unique flavour profile with a vibrant fruitiness and an elegant maturity. It takes on its golden colour from the multiple blond notes and white flesh fruits, with green highlights carried from the lingering citrus fruits.
For the Impériale Création No. 1, the winemakers have carefully blended seven vintage champagnes from its collection to create a fresh flavour. The delicate assembly exemplifies how Möet & Chandon have developed the art of crafting champagne – starting with the 2013 Grand Vintage aged in a stainless-steel tank, with the oak cask 2012, 2010, 2006, and 2000 Grand Vintage, and topped off with a bottle aged Grand Vintage from 2004. The resulting creation displays the signature golden hue of the Möet Imperial, but its profile unveils the layers of craftmanship and notes from each vintage year. Overall, the Impériale Création No. 1 unites the most prominent flavour profiles featured by the House. Starting with bitter and dry notes followed by a vivacious citrus layer, and finally, a delicate sweetness to tie them together. With only 5,000 bottles being produced, the Impériale Création No. 1 champagne will be available for purchase at the end of November at an estimated price of $393 per bottle.
To accompany the release, Möet & Chandon have collaborated with the artist Daniel Arsham, to develop a unique, monochromatic art piece. Created in his distinct chipped marble aesthetic, Arsham took inspiration from the rich heritage of Möet & Chandon after visiting the infamous Champagne wine cellar. The artist decorated a visage of the classic bottle with ornate sculpted cherubs and trumpets featured in the architecture of the Champagne property. While one of these pieces will return to the brand’s chateau, an additional 28 collectible sculptures will be available on the launch of the Impériale Création No. 1.
In addition, there is also a special collection release of Möet & Chandon’s Grand Vintage champagne.
For each annual Champagne harvest, a small portion of the crop will be saved into a single bottling and left to age for a minimum of three years to become a pure vintage. Möet & Chandon have been growing their collection of Grand Vintage since 1842 and now possess the most impressive collections in the world. To ensure the best flavour in its champagne, the brand matures its wine for a much longer period, resulting in only 76 vintage bottles being released to patrons of the House.
This celebratory collection, entitled The Tale of Light Saga, will see a trio of Grand Vintage champagne – Grand Vintage 2015, Grand Vintage Collection 2006 and Grand Vintage Collection 1999. These were curated by Benoît Gouez, the brand’s cellar master since 2005. Gouez designed the collection to represent each stage of the maturation journey by highlighting the differences between a seven-year-old, a 15-year-old, and a 21-year-old vintage champagne.
The youngest of the trilogy, nicknamed Luminous Morning, comes from the 2015 harvest. This crop experienced one of the hottest and driest growing seasons in Champagne since the 1960s, which created a unique ripeness with floral and crisp undertones. It is recommended to pair this champagne with delicate and soft dishes that will harmonise with the all-encompassing quality and flavours of the wine.
Following this, the Grand Vintage Collection 2006 or Dazzling Zenith, displays more of a smokey and full-bodied profile. The grapes grown this year endured a tumultuous mix of weather, going from a cold winter and frosty spring to intermittent heatwaves in the summer before the harvest. This developed a rich flavour that compliments peppery and exotic spices as well as heavily buttery and generous dishes that highlight the smoky notes in the champagne.
Finally, the Grand Vintage Collection 1999, known as Vibrant Twilight, illustrates the power and vibrancy of a well-aged champagne. Harvested the year following Gouez’s start as a winemaker, these grapes sustained extreme opposite weather conditions – starting in an incredibly cold and wet winter and then being collected at the end of a tropical summer with high temperatures and torrential rainy periods. This champagne has distinctively warm notes with a refreshing zest carrying through that couples well with refined cuisine, including strong and controlled flavours.
Along with the Impériale Création No. 1, the Tale of Light trio will launch later this year. Although the price has not yet been released, it can be assumed they will range in a similar market to other Möet & Chandon champagne collections, such as the Personalised Trilogy priced at $550.