Sleek, sophisticated, graceful and elegant: those are a few of the words that come to mind in describing the 2004 Grand Vintage from Moët & Chandon. 2004 was an excellent year for Champagne grapes, as evidenced by this beautiful blend of 38% Chardonnay, 33% Pinot Noir and 29% Pinot Meunier (these are the classic grapes used to make French Champagne).
Moët & Chandon winemaker Benoît Gouez, with the 2004 Grand Vintage, has created a gorgeous wine that combines longstanding winemaking tradition with New Millennium modernism, particularly in his choice of assemblage
- the relative proportions of the three grape varietals, which Gouez chose based on the fruits' particular qualities as opposed to once-accepted conventions regarding proper assemblage
quantities. The result is exceptional.
The Grand Vintage bead (the bubbles) is very fine and jewel-like; the hue of the wine is light yellow. On the nose, there are abundant fruit aromas: pear, pineapple, white peach and hints of lemon. Meanwhile, on the palate the Champagne is lively and bright, with spice and marzipan flavors mixed with grapefruit and mineral underpinnings. After seven years of cellar aging, the Grand Vintage 2004 is rich and complex, creamy, well-balanced, and simultaneously intense, but subtle. It's a fascinating wine. And, for reasons not clear to me, this fine vintage Champagne is listed with the DABC as selling here now for $43 - at least $15 to $20 less than elsewhere. Go figure.