Champagne has been the refreshment of celebration for centuries, and this year marks 280 years since the founding of the Maison Moët & Chandon in 1743. Marie-Christine Osselin, Wine Quality and Communications Manager at Moët & Chandon, is just the person to speak to when it comes to all things champagne ahead of the annual Champagne Day taking place on Friday the 27th of October this year and celebrated across Africa.
Moët & Chandon is celebrating its 280th anniversary this year, how does a Maison of this stature continue to innovate?
From the table of Madame de Pompadour to the Moulin Rouge or Studio 54, to the Grand Slams of the world or Royal Ascot, for nearly three centuries, Moët & Chandon has gone hand in hand with glamour and celebration. To ensure that we can celebrate all of life’s moments and milestones for another 280 years, we launched in 2021 Natura Nostra: Moët & Chandon’s movement to preserve the unique natural heritage of Champagne. This program has been designed to accelerate the ecological transition in favor of greater biodiversity in Champagne. We are convinced that it’s a balancing factor across all ecosystems that is critical to preserve Nature and battle climate change.
This program is based on two major pillars: the first commitment of our Maison is to create 100 km of ecological corridors in 5 years and the second to accelerate regenerative agriculture initiatives. We have also dedicated 392 hectares of our land to biodiversity preservation. Nature is the very source of our champagnes, and the heart of our success, it is our duty to preserve it. This will allow us to raise our glasses in celebration for centuries to come!
This year’s Champagne of celebration is the Grand Vintage 2015. What differentiates it?
Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2015 is a ripe, tender, and enveloping champagne. It’s defined by its lemon-yellow colour, luminous reflections, fine bubbles, and creamy foam. Notes of breadcrumbs, fresh brioche, and almond paste give way to elderflower and jasmine, then to white peach and watermelon, completed by elements of garrigue. Its floral and aniseed nuances lend lightness and freshness, and its finish lingers with a delicate bitterness reminiscent of fresh almonds. Just the champagne to toast with on Champagne Day!
How is the Grand Vintage 2015 different from Moët Impérial?
Moët & Chandon Impérial, the Maison’s signature cuvée, is its most comprehensive and universal expression. It has been the very incarnation of balance in champagne for over 150 years, flawlessly merging over 200 crus and mingling the full body of Pinot Noir with the suppleness of Meunier and the finesse of Chardonnay. Moët & Chandon Impérial was the name given to the House’s non-vintage brut champagne in homage to Moët & Chandon’s long-standing relationship with France’s imperial family. Moët Imperial is particularly blended to deliver the same fresh fruitiness, seductive palate and elegant maturity whatever the particularities of the year. It’s a very versatile, balanced and easy to enjoy Champagne.
Grand Vintage, the House’s 76th vintage, is made from grapes harvested in the late summer of 2015, characterised by ripeness and enveloping quality and blended into champagnes of exceptional tenderness. The extreme climatic conditions in 2015 led to a well-ripened fruit caused by an ardent sun.
What are some food pairings you’d suggest to complement the Grand Vintage 2015?
Textures best suited to the Grand Vintage 2015 are frothy and airy to harmonise with the elegance of the champagne. This champagne calls for subtle flavours that will not overwhelm the palate but match the wine’s ripeness. I would recommend using delicate spices to complement the tenderness of a perfectly prepared fish dish or a tender meat dish, slow-cooked to melt-in-the-mouth. Ideal choices for pairings also include exotic white fruits, light and herby jus, and young green vegetables.