Every three seconds, someone pops the cork on a bottle of Möet & Chandon (M&C) champagne. It’s the No 1 selling champagne brand in the world, producing more than 30 million bottles per year. By far and away, it’s the most innovative and successful Champagne House ever, boasting a remarkable record in terms of business achievement, technical product innovation and corporate social responsibility dating all the way back to 1743 and the very foundations of the modern champagne industry.
Always at the forefront of technology, Möet was the first Champagne House to adopt stainless steel cuves (to replace traditional wood), explore the effects of different yeast treatments such as plastic capsules (known as ‘les billes’ replacing the need for remouage), cork control and improved viticulture and vinification techniques. Before being floated on the French Stock Exchange in 1962, M&C was one of the largest family-owned and operated businesses in France and it has always been the leader in promoting sparkling wine around the world.
In the 21st century, alongside other leading Champagne Houses (Mercier, Ruinart, Veuve Clicquot and Krug) and various perfume and fashion brands, which have also been assimilated into the group, Möet & Chandon forms a cornerstone of luxury conglomerate LVMH (Louis Vuitton Möet Hennessy) chaired by the world’s fifteenth richest man, billionaire Bernard Arnault.
VIDEO: Chef de Caves Benoit Gouez tastes Champagne Moet & Chandon 2002 vintage
KEY CHARACTERISTICS: Medium-bodied, fresh and mellow, biscuity when aged.
BLEND: 10% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Meunier.
Möet & Chandon’s iconic ‘Impérial’ range was launched in 1863 as a tribute to Napoleon Bonaparte, a great friend of Jean-Remy Möet (grandson of the founder of the House). The ‘Brut Impérial’ is the most popular champagne in the world – very classic in style with a fine ‘champagne nose’ smelling of marzipan and brioche combined with lashings of fruit flavour that make it an emphatically ‘black grape’ champagne. In order to make it amenable to everyone, the style is light and fresh (somewhat bland), but because M&C can draw on grapes from more than 200 vineyards, ‘Brut Impérial’ is always exceptionally consistent in quality and character.