This week sees the release of Moët & Chandon brand new prestige cuvée Collection Impériale Creation No 1. Aptly, as the launch is coinciding with the Paris Fashion Week, chef de cave Benoît Gouez is talking about it in fashion terms. If the non-vintage Brut Impérial is ‘prêt-à-porter’ and Grand Vintage is ‘sur measure’, then the new Collection Impérial is ‘haute couture’ or rather ‘haute oenologie’. ‘This is the highest expression of Moet & Chandon. Moët is all about blending diversity in harmony. We put all our ‘savoir vin’ in the bottle’, Gouez says over an intimate press dinner at the historical Hôtel de Bourrienne in Paris.
The recipe of blending is indeed impressive in its scope, celebrating Moët & Chandon’s wealth of winemaking traditions and resources. Based on the fine and elegantly racy 2013 vintage (42,5%), Création No. 1 is a blend of seven vintages, comprising all; base wine from stainless steel, reserve wines from oak vats (2012, 2010, 2008, 2006 and 2000) and a luxurious 15% of 2004 vintage emptied to the blend from bottles ageing on lees. ‘The wines have been selected for their ageing potential and their expression’, Gouez describes.
After having spent ten years in the Moët & Chandon cellars, the wine is now seeing daylight, un-dosed as brut nature. ‘This is the first brut nature in the 280 years’ history of Moët & Chandon. I wasn’t looking for making one, but I thought the wine showed its minerality and salinity beautifully like this. But there is no commitment for Collection Impériale always being brut nature in the future’, the chef de cave stresses.
And the result? The style is unmistakeably Moët but coming with a highly contemporary aura to it. Freshness and energy above all, the endlessly evolving complexity and remarkable ageing capacity give it the stamp of haute oenologie à la Moët & Chandon.
Moët & Chandon Collection Impériale Creation No 1. NV
Lemon yellow colour with golden hues. At first the elegantly fragrant and coolly fruity nose shows restraint but time in the glass reveals further and further layers. Sweet vanilla laden fruitiness with refined crème brûlée and coffee with cream tones. I am loving the torrefaction notes intermingling with both crunchy fresh white fruit notes and age-complexed honey and spice toned aromas that build up over time in the glass. The lees-enriched but airy and energised palate comes with a lacey texture and linear drive. Disgorged March 2022, the wine is showing pristinely youthful and slow-ageing, promising brilliant age-worthiness despite being immediately impressive and enjoyable. 96 points with potential for 98.