Champagne has two stunning choices for your holiday gift giving.
Last week, Spectre, the latest James Bond movie starring Daniel Craig, arrived at theaters. Craig— who resembles Vladimir Putin more than the suave Sir Roger Moore— is performing his fourth rendition of our superhero, seducer par excellence, bon vivant and slayer of evil.
Bond, the character, bonded with Bollinger in the movie Live and Let Die when Roger Moore ordered a bottle of Bollinger from room service “slightly chilled.” An expert of elegance, Moore got the temperature correct: drinking Bollinger—or any champagne– iced-cold retards the aromas and flavors of this exquisite wine.
Last week, Cyril Delarue, the 33-year old, sixth-generation member of the Bollinger family, and Jerome Philipon, president of Champagne Bollinger were in Manhattan at The Modern restaurant. With his Hollywood looks and Bond-like relaxed manner, Delarue presented the 2009 Bollinger Champagne in its 007 sleek black box.
The 2009 Bollinger was conceived in a warm vintage and delivered from five Grand Cru vineyards. Pinot noir provides two-thirds of the blend and the wine’s full body; chardonnay is the balance and contributes the 2009’s elegance.
Like Bond’s tuxedo, the 2009 Bollinger box has its own stylish black suit: four-cornered with tuxedo stripes and textured with 007’s Walther PPK gun grip, the silver embossed box’s insulated interior keeps the champagne chilled for two hours after refrigeration.
Plenty of time for Bond to save the world, adjust his cufflinks, and get comfortable with his newest sex kitten.
The Carre’ Basset-designed insulated box makes a superb holiday gift package, or provides adequate time to drive your Aston Martin to your favorite BYOB for that rendezvous you’ve been planning.
The 2009 Bollinger is available only in the 007 designed box; it retails for about $225.
MCIII is not a new Bond character, code or car. It’s Moet & Chandon‘s newest champagne.
MC is the venerable Champagne house’s initials; the III stands for the three vessels used to make this champagne: steel tanks, wood barrels and glass bottles.
Chef du Cave (Champagne’s term for winemaker) Benoit Gouez drew from Moet & Chandon’s huge stock of vintage champagnes and reserve wines to create the MCIII.
Gouez began with a base of 2003 chardonnay and pinot noir fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks; then oak-aged reserve wines from 1998, 2000 and 2002 were blended with the 2003. But what surprised me was the third step: Gouez poured bottles of perfect Grand Vintage Champagnes from 1993, 1998 and 1999 into the other wines.
After the assemblage was created, Gouez bottled the MCIII and started a new fermentation; then, the champagne was aged for 10 years, disgorged in 2014, and marketed last month.
The richness of the MCIII is from the 2003 wines born under that year’s blazing sun; the oak-aged reserve wines donated a flavor that made me think of Batard-Montrachet, and the Grand Vintage Champagnes of 1993, 1998 and 1999 left a depth and earthiness that makes Champagne much more than a sparkling wine.
To capture MCIII’s complexity spanning 22 years, six vintages and countless vineyards, drink it from a burgundy glass.
The MCIII is packaged in an eye-catching black and silver bottle. It’s available only on Moet & Chandon’s website; the price is $425. www.moet.com/mc3
And don’t forget to gift yourself; Sir Roger would.
Follow John Foy on Twitter @JLFOY2
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