Moët & Chandon is proud to unveil its Grand Vintage 2015, the House’s 76th vintage. Made from grapes harvested in the late summer of 2015, characterised by ripeness and enveloping quality, and blended into champagnes of exceptional tenderness.
“Each Grand Vintage is my interpretation of a specific year, as such, it is unique and will only be seen once. The Grand Vintage is a chance to discover the originality of a particular year through my eyes. It is not a ‘summary’ of the year but rather my interpretation of what the year represented. Like a photographer who frames a shot, I select the wines that will ultimately compose the final blend”. ~ Benoit Gouez, Cellar Master, Moët & Chandon
THROWBACK TO THE CONDITIONS AND HARVEST OF 2015
The year 2015 tells a story of a bright light and summer heat. In many ways, it was a year of awakening brought on by the consciousness of a warming climate and its impact on the Champagne region.
The harvest, which lasted 21 days, got underway on September 7 under bright light in a serene atmosphere, despite the heterogeneous progression of fruit maturity from hydric stress. Within days of the start of harvest, heavy showers battered the vineyards. Nevertheless, the fruit had matured well, with good concentration and striking aromas. Red-skinned grapes were exceptional: the Meuniers were splendid, and the Pinot Noirs revealed a maturity with a powerful, fruity nose and full-bodied finish. The fruit was healthy, with well-ripened grapes radiating brilliantly.
Grape health and yield were satisfactory at the end of a serene harvest. Despite the incessant rains creating challenging conditions for pickers, it did not impact the health and quality of the grapes. The juices flowed well, and maturity was good, with an average of 10.5% Vol of potential alcohol. With 6.9 g H2SO4/L and an average pH of 3.09, the acidity was below the ten-year average, without cause for concern, given that the value was close to those of 2005 and 2006. In 1999 or 2003, one found lower acidity levels, even though those years resulted in generous, outstanding vintages.
While an unprecedented drought from March to August threatened the nitrogen richness of grapes, especially in the Chardonnay, winemakers ensured proper fermentation and obtained interesting wines full of character. The aromatic freshness of the Meuniers and Pinot Noirs were preserved: healthy and ripe, they showed a full and powerful fruitiness and a structure conducive to long ageing.
The Cellar Master could select wines made from the region’s three grape varieties in quality levels that met the requirements of a Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage from both the House’s superb estate and an extraordinary diversity of wines provided by vineyard partners.
“2015 was a year of awareness and awakening towards climate change, both in the vineyard and the world. Grand Vintage 2015 is a champagne of contemplation – it marks the start of a new day”. ~ Benoit Gouez, Cellar Master, Moët & Chandon
Extreme climatic conditions marked 2015; a clement winter turned into a warm spring, and then a dry summer brought a dazzlingly bright light, some water stress and record heat. When Benoît Gouez, Moët & Chandon’s cellar master, and his team tasted the still wines after harvest, they discovered a well-ripened fruit that told a story of light in a year marked by the brightness of an ardent sun.
“Creating a blend for a Grand Vintage at Moët & Chandon is like working with negative film – you can see the shapes and contours, you can be confident in the result, but you do not know exactly how it will look until you develop the photo.” ~ Benoit Gouez, Cellar Master, Moët & Chandon
GRAND VINTAGE 2015
Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2015, born in a year of sharp contrasts, is a ripe, tender, and enveloping champagne. It is defined by its lemon-yellow colour, luminous reflections, fine bubbles and creamy foam.Its bouquet expresses restraint before subtly hinting at a soft, fresh white-green universe. 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 at dawn. The palate is direct and confident. The generous structure, with floral, aniseed and mentholated nuances, brings lightness and freshness to a sun-kissed vintage. The finish lingers on a slightly sappy note, with a delicate bitterness evoking fresh almonds.