When a Champagne house presents a new vintage, it is big news. And when it is Moët & Chandon even more. This year all Champagne lovers will have a purpose to celebrate. Let’s welcome the new Grand Vintage 2013, and the result seems pretty amazing. Here is our full review.
A New Champagne Grand Vintage
Moët & Chandon presents the 75th vintage of the Champagne House: the Grand Vintage 2013, a unique vintage to date with the latest harvest of the last 30 years. With the Grand Vintage Rosé 2013, the 44th rosé cuvée of the House, these vintage champagnes are the embodiment of golden autumn. Aged for seven years in the cellar, these balanced and powerful wines are characterized by particular maturity and delicate structures.
Each Grand Vintage Mot & Chandon tells the story of a specific year. Since it is one-of-a-kind: it is the first, last, and only vintage of its kind. This was already the case in 1842 when wine lovers in the United Kingdom and the United States requested more ripe champagnes. Each of these vintage champagnes reflects the champagne’s personality, as well as that of its cellar master.
“Creating an assemblage for a Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage is like working with photographic negatives: you can guess the shapes and outlines, be convinced of the result, but you cannot be sure what the photo will look like before it is developed.”Benoît Gouez, Cellar Master at Moët & Chandon
The 2013 Grand Vintage: A Golden Autumn
When talking about a Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage, you need to understand that year’s climate. The weather conditions, the time of the year and the interpretation of the Cellar Master are key crucial elements that will explain the taste of this new Vintage.
2013 was a very unusual year. This is probably why Moët & Chandon decided to make it a Grand Vintage. If we all remember well, that year had a cold and rainy winter followed by a mild spring and a summer that was slightly warmer and rainier than normal. This allowed the vine to grow longer and the grapes to ripen. It was also a year in which a hailstorm destroyed 600 hectares of vines in Champagne. While early harvests had marked the previous years, those of 2013 took place in October, a first since 1991!
This latest harvest of the last 22 years began in October when the vineyards were already bathed in the shimmering gold of autumn. This stimulated the imagination of cellar master Benoît Gouez, who then tasted and selected the wines behind this Grand Vintage 2013. An extraordinary variety allowed him to select the best qualities of the three grape varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier.
Grand Vintage 2013, The End Result
At the end of the first maceration, the Chardonnay has developed an extraordinary flavour, while the Pinot Noir has revealed complex structures. Le Meunier, meanwhile, offered many possibilities for variation. This kaleidoscope of different varieties allowed the Cellar Master to create the ideal blend for a great vintage. Even though the Chardonnay was ripe to perfection, Benoît Gouez made the bold decision to use more precisely selected Pinots Noirs to best express the uniqueness of this special year.
Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2013
With a shimmering pale golden yellow colour, the Grand Vintage 2013 is characterized by a chiselled structure, an energy balance and a fine and persistent “perlage”. Its maturity is expressed by autumn aromas of grilled chestnuts, grilled buckwheat, nuts, honey and nougat. Concentrated fruity notes follow with candied, salty or reminiscent of perfectly ripe nectarine lemons: Salty notes, a mixture of dry flowers and a little pine resin complete the aromatic bouquet. On the palate, this vintage is direct and energetic—a delicate play of acid with a fine structure, with a pleasantly bitter note of grapefruit.
Vinification: Chardonnay 41 %, Pinot Noir 38 %, Pinot Meunier 21 %.
Parker Rating: 93 points
Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Rosé 2013
Light pink in colour with orange and autumnal reflections, the Grand Vintage Rosé 2013 inspires with its opulent aromas of spicy fruit: notes of wild strawberries, raspberries, and pomegranate seeds appear on the nose, followed by a certain acidity with l blood orange and caramel. Spicy scents of black pepper, dark chocolate and cinnamon follow, accompanied by aromas of dried flowers and fresh leather.
The first impression on the palate is spicy and powerful with a lush character. The finely shaped structure of Pinot Noir is immediately revealed, with crunchy aromas of plum and cherry. The power is well balanced, with a delicate astringency of pink grapefruit and lime zest underlines the long finish.
Vinification: Pinot Noir 44 % (dont 14 % de vin rouge), Chardonnay 35 %, Meunier 21 %.
Parker Rating: 90 points
Do not hesitate to connect to the Moët & Chandon official website here to discover more about this new Grand Vintage and the amazing Champagne collection of the house.