1. Moët & Chandon
Moët & Chandon sells 30 million bottles annually, which represents almost 10% of all Champagne consumed worldwide
Label: Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial Non-Vintage
Blend (approx.): 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Meunier, 20% Chardonnay
Reserve wine (%): 25-29
Lees ageing (months): 23-26
Dosage (g/l): 9
Price (RRP, UK): £30
Size (approx. annual sales, 2015): 30 million bottles
Cellar master: Benoît Gouez
It’s widely acknowledged that the quality of the world’s biggest Champagne brand – and flagship wine in the LVMH stable – has improved since Benoit Gouez became cellar master in 2005.
Within the last decade the category leader has benefitted from updated winemaking facilities, an increased proportion of reserve wine, better viticultural management and, as a result, riper fruit and richer, cleaner wines, which, in turn, have allowed for a lower dosage – Moët dropped to 9g/l in 2012, having previously hovered around 12 g/l.
The style has also been standardised globally, and, in particular, the White Star variant (an Extra Dry Champagne with 20g/l) for the US market was axed in 2012, ensuring the Americans receive the same style of Brut NV as the rest of the world.
Moët introduced the Ice Impérial with a 45 g/l dosage in 2012
During this period, the famous Champagne has also shifted its celebrity allegiance from actress Scarlett Johansson to tennis star Roger Federer – who remains the global Moët brand ambassador today.
The brand has not been tempted to release a drier variant of Moët and the house has no Extra Brut (6 g/l or below) or Brut Nature (0 g/l) Champagne, but, in the same year it discontinued its White Star, Moët introduced the Ice Impérial, which, with a 45 g/l dosage, is a much sweeter version designed for serving over ice.
This was joined in May this year by the Moët Ice Impérial Rosé with a slightly lower dosage of 38 g/l.
Before this, however, Moët made the headlines in late 2015 with the release 15,000 bottles of a new multi-vintage prestige cuvée Champagne priced at €450 a bottle.
Named ‘MCIII’ after the initials of the house and the three-layer blending process, the top-end sparkler has been in the pipeline for the last 15 years.
Just over 37% of the blend comes from the 2003 vintage, equally balanced between Pinot Noir from Aÿ and Chardonnay from Chouilly and Cramant aged in stainless steel.
A further third is made up of reserve wines from 2002, 2000 and 1998 vinified in tanks and aged between five to seven months in 5,000-litre oak foudres. The remainder of the blend was formed by uncorking bottles of the 1999, 1998 and 1993 vintages of Moët Grand Vintage Collection disgorged from the cellar.
At the end of last year Moët launched a new advertising campaign called The Now. The film follows Moët’s social media campaign called #MoëtMoments, which was launched two years ago to celebrate memorable Champagne occasions. Among the scenes in the video are swimmers kissing underwater, and Moët brand ambassador and tennis star Roger Federer playing ping pong. The video then concludes with the words ‘Open The Now’ flashing in front of a breaking wave.
Finally, it’s worth noting that sales of Moët & Chandon’s alone account for almost 10% of the entire Champagne region – in other words, one in 10 bottles of Champagne consumed worldwide is from this single house.
Brand owner: Moët Hennessy
Head office: 20 Avenue de Champagne, 51200, Epernay, France
Tel: +33 03 26 51 20 20
Product range: Moët & Chandon, Impérial NV, Rosé NV, Ice Impérial (blanc & rosé), Grand Vintage Blanc, Grand Vintage Rosé, MCIII