Lunching with Moet & Chandon winemaker Elise Losfelt

May 15, 14 Lunching with Moet & Chandon winemaker Elise Losfelt

Posted by in Champagne

Last week I was invited to lunch with one of the young up and coming winemakers of Champagne, Elise Losfelt of Moët & Chandon. Elise is relatively new to the Moët team and is originally from a family of Languedoc winemakers but ended up in Champagne. We met up with Elise at Heston’s Dinner in the Mandarin Oriental. It was my first visit there and I have to say the food does live up to the hype, especially the Meat Fruit – definitely worth trying. But, I’m jumping ahead here. Elise picked Dinner because she though their food would best showcase the bottles of Moët she’d brought for lunch. After much consultation with the Head Sommelier, we settled on the food and dived into the champagnes. We started with the Moët Imperial as Elise thinks that best expresses the house style: bright frutiness, easy to understand with a supple and seductive palate.  I have to admit, I haven’t had Moët Imperial in quite some time but it was ticking all the boxes for me. One thing that Elise pointed out is that all of their champagnes are not extremely acidic but they are built to last. After that we moved onto the Grand Vintages. On hand we had the 2006, 1999 and 1985 in magnum. Of course the Grand Vintages are an expression of the year they come from so they will never be the same but the House still strives for their signature style.  Moët uses over 800 base wines for their Grand Vintages to get the right balance and age-ability. Moët also uses all 3 grapes of the region because as Elise said, they are blenders and each of the grapes are complimentary of the others. Pinot meunier in particular is important for Moët as it gives a freshness to the blend. Since 1993, the House has also been aging a percentage of their Grand Vintages under cork so that they can do late disgorgement. They’ve found that crown cap is good for about 10 years but...

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Getting to grips with Champagne – a primer

Aug 22, 13 Getting to grips with Champagne – a primer

Posted by in Champagne

I love Champagne and it is one of the most popular high-end drinks on the market with people across the globe enjoying this bubbly beverage. French law states that, in order to be called champagne, drinks must be produced in designated areas within the Champagne region of the country and according to strict standards and processes. Located in the north-east of the nation, Champagne has been known for its sparkling wines for hundreds of years and the towns of Reims and Épernay are at the epicentre of the industry. Many of the most famous champagne houses are located in these areas. Certain big brands have achieved renown around the world, including the likes of Taittinger and Moët & Chandon. These producers tend to age their wines for several years and then blend them to create a consistent house style that people recognise. Each producer has its own technique when it comes to creating these bottled delights and this formula is passed down from generation to generation. It is also worth noting that, as well as the major international players, there are plenty of smaller producers in operation. In fact, much of the region’s ‘liquid gold’ is made by these less well-known vignerons, or wine producers. In total, there are nearly 5,000 small-scale houses creating champagne. In order to qualify as champagne, beverages must be made from certain grape varieties and the three primary grapes are Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir. Other grapes used include the Arbanne, Petit Meslier and Pinot Blanc, but these make up a tiny proportion of current production. Those with a real passion for champagne can make trips to the home of the beverage and see the various houses in operation. For example, they can head to the headquarters of Taittinger just over a kilometre south-east of Reims centre. There, they can enjoy a presentation on the champagne making process. Enthusiasts can also travel to fellow industry giant Moët & Chandon, which I have visited, where they can walk through the house’s wine cellars. These are located ten to 30 metres below the chalky soil of Epernay and are the largest of...

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Moet&Chandon launch Ice Imperial in London

A few summers ago in the south of France, the bartenders of St. Tropez noticed that guests were adding ice to their champagne to combat the intense heat of those hot Mediterranean afternoons. Word got back to what the punters were doing and a bright spark at Moet & Chandon realized that while you can’t stop people from putting ice in their champagne, maybe you could make a champagne that would be a little more amenable to having ice plopped down in the middle of it. I met Benouit Gouez, winemaker, at the launch of the Ice Imperial in Mayfair at the Royal Astronomical Society and he told me his thoughts on Ice Imperial and what they hoped to achieve with it. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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