All Aboard for Vintage Moët

FingalI recently attended a dinner on board the Fingal, a unique luxury hotel managed by the trust that also runs the Royal Yacht Brittania and, like  Brittania, moored on the dockside in Edinburgh’s port of Leith. The 23-roomed ex-lighthouse supply ship has had a multi-million pound refit, to create not only the cossetting luxury of the rooms and suites, but impressive public rooms including the deck-top Lighthouse Bar, with panoramic views of Leith and the waterfront.

Moet bottlesDinner was served in the dramatic ballroom, entered down a glamorous hollywood-style sweeping staircase, where the vintage wines of Champagne Moët & Chandon where served alonsgide dinner cooked by the on-board team. The food on the Fingal was excellent (as was breakfast next morning) and the entertainment provided by a very cool jazz trio provided the perfect background music.

Three vintages of the Grand Vintage Brut were served, 2008, 2009 and 2012, and the 2012 version of the Vintage Rosé too.

Vintage wines are made only in the best years in Champagne, the 2012 being the 74th Grand Vintage ever produced. The blend features the trio of Champagne grapes, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, aged for a minimum of five years, and with a relatively low dosage of just 5g/l.

The Rosé (2012 is the  43rd release) is lightly dominated by Pinot Noir, but again all three grapes are used with a healthy dose of Meuinier – 23% in the 2012). Like the Vintage Brut, the dosage is 5g/l and it is aged for a minimum of five years on the lees before release.

Moët & Chandon Vintage Wines

(2019) A blend of 40% Chardonnay, 37% Pinot Noir and 23% Pinot Meunier, this seems meatier, less overtly summer berry fruity than the 2009 on the nose, but the palate shows dazzling acidity that seems more taut than the 2012. Really good intensity, thrust and focus here. Long, shimmering grapefruit zest acidity gives this real vitality too.
(2019) There is 50% Pinot Noir in this blend, Chardonnay having dominated previous vintages, with 36% Chardonnay and a relatively low 14% of Meunier. A powerful wine, this also spent seven years in the cellars before release. Real salinity, yeast and biscuit, candied lemon and lime. Lovely sweetness on the mid-palate, the thrust of citrus and salt surge through to the finish.
(2019) Deep and meaty aromas compared to the 2009, rounder, less sharply - crisply - lemony, but there is good thrust and fruit precision too, quite a bright orange character, then some delicate toast and spices. The blend is 41% Chardonnay, 33% Pinot Noir and 26% Pinot Meunier. Excellent potential here if cellared for a few years.
(2019) Quite a deeply coloured rosé, lovely red fruits, summery raspberry and strawberry, strawberry shortcake, then the gorgeous freshness and zip comes through on the palate. Creamy mid-palate and that dazzling orangy freshness. The blend is 42% Pinot Noir (of which 13% of the total blend is red wine), 23% Pinot Meunier and 35% Chardonnay.

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