Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Old standards

It's always a nice experience to see your friends move into a new place. The excitement, the grand tour, the new furniture. It always satisfies. Not only that, but it's a great excuse for champagne. Not sparkling wine? Even considering the great leaps forward the new world AND the great strides made by those in my own country, The UK, there still seems to be a greater cache with the Champagne "brand". The word just trips off the tongue of those people wishing to celebrate in style. It's no surprise that this frustrates new world makers and this attitude was well illustrated when a very wise person told me something seemingly obvious.

"Drink the wine, not the label."

But every time we pop the cork on a bottle of Champagne, isn't that precisely what we're doing?

The Moet seems to have modernized itself over the last ten years. For a brand formally seen as the last word in champagne consistency, this is a surprise. The nose is standard champers. Green, toast, hints of mixed nuts. There is markedly more citrus on the front of the palate before the rocky crunch of the mousse takes hold. Medium finish, nothing prodigious. The mousse is more aggressive than is ideal.
The Monopole is  much more like the Moet used to be. I used to think of many champagnes as "neutral". Not too much of anything and perfectly suited to corporate luncheons. The Monopole seems a little outdated now. I'm not a sparkling expert by a long chalk, but I don't think an aficionado would easily be able to tell this as champagne in a tasting flight of new world offerings. The mouth feel was nice though, having a slightly finer mousse than the M&C. Perfectly acceptable, but somewhat overpriced and one paced. I drank the label.

In the end the Moet & Chandon is somewhat like my mates' new apartment. A nice slice of modernity slid comfortably into a classic package. Well priced and a great image. I'd be happy to take the tour now.

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