The global fine wine market is extremely excited about the 2008 vintage. It has been highly anticipated in a decade that has already produced so much quality in Champagne; 2002, 2004 and 2006 are all superb: 2008 could usurp even the mighty 2002. Benoît Gouez, the Chef de Cave at Moet & Chandon states that ‘such acidity in ripe grapes had not been encountered at Moët since 1995 and 1996’. In fact, 2008 was initially a slightly challenging vintage, however, ripening conditions were perfect; sunny days and cool nights lead to an outstanding harvest. Antonio Galloni is also suitably impressed with this great vintage, highlighting ‘a rare blend of power and finesse, with the structure and acidity to age gracefully’. It is one of the cooler vintages this decade, resulting in a fresh, elegant yet powerful base for the leading houses to work their magic.
We do not expect any Grande Cuvee to release this year, however one or two could release next year. As such, with Christmas and seasonal festivities on the horizon, we are delighted to release Moet & Chandon 2008, a superb reflection of the vintage, which we believe to be incredible, priced at £205 per case of six – almost one third of the price of Dom Perignon. Vintage Moet & Chandon offer some of the best price versus quality in the market of fine Champagnes, which is a magnificent achievement given the prestige of the Estate. The 2008 has received 94 points from Richard Juhlin, the most revered Champagne critic and a strict and firm taster. This puts it on par with the 2002, one of the finest ever and incredible value at £34 a bottle in bond, or £44 duty and VAT paid. This makes it only marginally more expensive than most leading non-vintage Champagnes, yet at a superb quality point, well above its release price, or its painstaking winemaking. The 2006 was aged for seven years in the house’s cellars and for at least six months’ post-disgorgement. The 2008 vintage for Moet & Chandon marks the 72nd in the history of the house, dating back to the first in 1842. This year it is a blend of 40% Chardonnay, 37% Pinot Noir and 23% Pinot Meunier.
We tasted the 2008 at their cellars in Epernay earlier this month and it greatly impressed displaying energy, tension and power. It boasts plenty of citrus, honeysuckle, acacia and brioche. The palate is fresh and zesty, with stone fruits, peach, and nectarine. The finish is notable for vanilla, notes of linden and baked apple. This is one of the finest vintages in recent history. It is drinking brilliantly now and there is no need to wait to age it, although it will improve for decades in bottle.
Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage 2008, 6×75 - £205 IB
We are also delighted to offer a special Grande Vintage Trilogy set. This includes three vintages the 1988, the 1998 and the 2008. This is a fascinating opportunity to see Vintage Champagne in its various incarnations. The 1988 is a projection of the 2008, having reached its perfect maturity. The 1988 is superb, Richard Juhlin describes it as ‘Moët in a nutshell’. The 1988 is priced at over £220 a single bottle in the market. We also recently tasted the 1998, which Juhlin calls ‘extremely charming with softly explosive exotic fruit right from the start’, included in the middle of this stunning set and priced at £70 per bottle in the market. As part of a special offer, our 2008, 1998 and 1988 case is a steal at £290, and perfect for the seasonal period or a gift.
Moet & Chandon is the co-owner of the luxury group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, which is one of the world’s largest, premium Champagne houses. The house was established in Eperney in 1743 by Claude Moet, beginning as Moët et Cie (Moët & Co). It was Moet that had the vision of transforming the little known, regional wine, into one of the leading wines of the world, he certainly achieved this. In 1833 the company was renamed Moet & Chandon, after Pierre- Gabriel Chandon, who was the director of the maison and who had joined the company as a partner of Jean-Remy Moet, Claude Moet’s grandson. Together they introduced the concept of Vintage Champagne to the market in 1840, marking its first vintage in 1842. Their best selling and adored Brut imperial, which is the market’s leading non-vintage, was first produced in 1860, after the vintage Moet & Chandon. Dom Perignon, the leading prestige brand of Moet & Chandon, saw its first vintage in 1921, not released until 1936, which is their prestige Grand Cuvee, named after the Benedictine monk, remembered as the ‘Father of Champagne’. In 1971 Moet & Chandon merged with Hennessy Cognac and in 1987 with Louis Vuitton, forming LVMH (Louis-Vuitton-Moët-Hennessy), who are now the largest luxury group in the world. In 2016 they recorded revenue of €37.6 billion, with an operating margin of 18.7%, resulting in a net profit of €3.98 billion.
Today they remain the most prominent fine Champagne company, they own 1,150 hectares (2,800 acres) of vineyards, a huge holding, which allows them to have great control over how their grapes are grown and are treated. Moet & Chandon boast the finest, largest and most advanced cellars in Champagne. Their historic legacy and financial might allow for enormous capital investment, resulting in the highest possible standards. It is largely due to this savoir-faire, incredible technology and holdings that they can produce a superb Vintage Champagne at this price, capable of 94 points from Juhlin.
Grand Vintage Trilogy Gift Set (2008, 1998, 1988), 3×75 - £290 IB
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