Onto the big boys. Not by choice, but what do you do. It felt like we were visiting, in equal parts, a spa and a corporate office. This is not so much a working wine producer as it is a capitalist distributor of luxury. We were taken through the cellars, which admittedly is pretty fucking impressive. Nearly 28 km of tunnels winding underground, housing untold tens of millions of bottles. And can I say this - the tasting, in the absolutely beautiful English garden, was one of the most uncomfortable tasting experiences I've ever had in my life. They were nice people, all of them, and utterly professional . . . but you can't help but feel that Gallic arrogance of prove you're fucking worthy of drinking my wine. I'm not going to argue with a sommelier, but I was informed that you can keep the wine after release for after 7 years. But you should drink it immediately because once it leaves our cellars, it won't develop further.
I'm reminded that the French like them young. In this case, before-the-age-of-consent young.
2002 Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Brut
The two new vintage releases. Absolutely no indication that I was going to receive the honour of being anywhere close to a bottle of Dom Perignon. Pale yellow in colour, and showing lots of toasty, custardy aromas. Citrus as well, very rich. High dosage on the palate, but finished fresh, linear, and quite firm.
2002 Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Rosé
Copper in colour, with lots of dried leaves and roses on the bouquet. Restrained fruit, with reductive flavours on the palate. Finishes candied, slightly smoky. The dosage is bothering me, and yes, this wine needs at least a decade of bottle age. Won't develop after disgorgement - utter and complete nonsense. But they offered to start the tour by showing me the latest Scarlett Johannson tv ad. That should have told me something.