Tasted the latest vintage releases from Moët, the 2009s. This was a season that starred badly, with lots of rain. But this all cleared by mid-July, and the rest of the summer was hot and dry, resulting in a harvest of very ripe grapes. It was a particularly good Pinot Noir vintage, and this variety is highly represented in these wines: it’s not since 1996 that there’s been so much in the Grand Vintage.
The important thing to notice: as is the case since 2002, dosage has been 5 g/litre, which is extra brut. This is in response to the higher average maturity experienced in Champagne these days, and makes the wines more gastronomic and vinous. I think they’re both really nice. A note on pricing: these are RRPs and are unusually high. You can often get the Grand Vintage in the mid- to late-30s, which makes it good value.
Champagne Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2009 France
This, the 73rd vintage is composed of 50% Pinot Noir, 36% Chardonnay and 14% Pinot Meunier. This has lovely weight, and with a dosage of just 5 g/litre seems quite dry and focused. There’s some lemon and cherry character to the fruit, with a twist of baked apple and pear richness. There’s just a touch of pithy bitterness, but it holds the slight fruit sweetness in good tension. There’s definitely a ripeness to the fruit, which is dominant, but there’s also some faint toasty richness. 92/100 (c£47 Selfridges, Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, Wholefoods, Majestic, Oddbins)
Champagne Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Rosé 2009 France
59% Pinot Noir (of which a fifth is still red wine), 30% Chardonnay and 11% Pinot Meunier. Quite a full pink/orange colour. Restrained with good concentration of citrus flavours as well as a bit of red cherry, a trace of dried herbs and some cranberry and apple notes. This feels quite dry and gastronomic, with a low dosage of 5 g/litre, and it’s quite vinous. There’s a bit of grip here and just a twist of bitter damson on the finish, and overall the balance is really good. 91/100 (c£60 Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Harrods, Wholefoods, Majestic, Oddbins)
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