Weekend on the River
A few weeks ago we spent a weekend in a cozy, very cool house next to a river in upstate New York. Actually, where is the ‘upstate’ line? It may have not been in upstate. Our hosts were wine folks who brought along another wine person. With so many wine dorks, I knew I had to bring something interesting.
Sitting in my office closet was a box of Champagne that I had always been waiting for an appropriately geeky time to open. This box contained a special bottling that Moet & Chandon did from their three primary/most famous Grand Cru vineyards.
“Moët began to tear up the sacred texts of assemblage when in 2001 it released a series of three ‘Grand Cru’ wines; Pinot Meunier from Sillery (Les Champs de Romont), Chardonnay from Chouilly ( Les Vignes de Saran), and Pinot Noir from Ay (Les Sarments d’Ay).” [link]
What would have been way geekier is if we had done this blind.
We didn’t because I am not sure we had enough glasses and it would have required effort. But, if I could go back in time to taste these, I’d have done it blind. The only reason I mention this is that we were looking up the vineyard information on the handy iPad and discussing each one and there were all these, “Ah-ha - this is the Pinot Noir one”; if I had done it blind, would I have been able to place each wine? I don’t know.
Chardonnay from Chouilly
My all-around favorite. I think I just like the all-chardonnay/blanc de blanc wines. This one was rich and bready with this perfect classic nose.
Pinot Noir from Ay
My notes for this one said, “Darker, yeastier, a little stinky.”
Pinot Meunier from Sillery
I liked this better than it’s cousin pinot noir - but I also like pinot meunier. This wine I found to be much more complex on the palate and nose than the pinot noir and there was that nice spice that meunier brings to the table - do we call it ‘cooking spice’?
Towards the end we start blending them. That was fun. My blend, which was pretty tasty if I say so myself, was about half Chardonnay and half Pinot Meunier and a splash of Pinot Noir.
Are there any other producers that have done or currently due these dorky special releases like Moet did?
I like maps. Here are the general areas where each of these vineyards are.