The Tasting Panel magazine

January 2016

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56  /  the tasting panel  /  january-february 2016 DISCOVERIES Champagne Synergy A completely new wine from the world's largest prestige Champagne house is big news. Just before the holidays, the Moët & Chandon road show arrived in town to proudly tout their newest product, MCIII. More than 15 years in the making, this "ultra-luxury prestige cuvée" Champagne has involved many winemakers, including all members of the current staff, which is led by Chef de Cave Benoît Gouez. Representing the technical team was Elise Losfelt, a young winemaker, one of the ten currently employed, who explained the complex formula of the new wine. MCIII is one-third stainless steel–fermented and –aged Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the 2003 vintage; one-third a blend of 2002, 2000 and 1999, grand vintage wines fermented and aged in 5000-liter oak foudres; and the final tranche is bottled Champagnes from 1999, 1998 and 1993, accessed by tapping into the world's largest cellar of vintage Champagnes, aging quietly in 30 miles of caves below the winery. After several false starts over the years, the final product is an exquisitely complex creation that emphasizes its three diverse elements: wood, glass and steel—a unique Champagne that calls on three tiers to give it a special, complex character, thus its name. I asked Ms. Losfelt whether there would be a conflict between this new product and Dom Pérignon, another prestige product of Moët. "No," she said, looking surprised at the question. "Dom Pérignon is a separate wine made in its own winery. There is no conflict between the two." The appeal of MCIII is intellectual as well as sensual. The bringing together of the three essential elements involves much more than the taste buds. Only a few thousand bottles are available for the world. Its retail price is $450 a bottle. TASTING NOTE Moët & Chandon MCIII Champagne, France ($450) Elegant, super smooth and refined with precise streams of tiny bubbles; crisp, per- sistent fruit acidity with subtle hints of vanilla oak and mature flavors; seamless and layered with amazing finesse and length. 98 MOËT HENNESSY USA PHOTO COURTESY OF MOËT HENNESSY USA AN EXCITING NEW WINE FROM MOËT IS MORE THAN THE SUM OF ITS PARTS by Anthony Dias Blue

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