In a year where few things seem worthy of celebration, Baccarat Hotel has created something special for its guests to look forward to. After an extended closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the glitzy, crystal-laden Baccarat Hotel New York reopened on October 5 and is (safely) welcoming patrons to enjoy its sumptuous suites and delightful cuisine and drinks, which now includes Baccarat’s very own Champagne.
The property’s wine director, Matthieu Yamoum, created a special-edition cuvée reserve Champagne in collaboration with Champagne house Piper-Heidsieck, called Essentiel by Matthieu Yamoum. The bottle launched this year on the day of the hotel’s reopening. Yamoum and Piper-Heidsieck began creating this special-edition expression in October 2019, and Yamoum, an experienced sommelier, was granted full creative control.
Yamoum, who was born and raised in Reims, France, part of the Champagne wine region, is no stranger to working with Piper-Heidsieck. Their friendship began a few years back when Yamoum was conceptualizing the Champagne list for Baccarat Hotel New York. After falling in love with the Champagne’s house’s most premium cuvée, Rare, he offered it by the glass, where it went on to become one of the hotel’s best-selling Champagne.
“My dreams have come to fruition through this intimate partnership with Piper-Heidsieck, and the creation of my very own Champagne,” Yamoum says. It was a true collaboration between both Yamoum and Piper-Heidsieck’s Chief Winemaker, Émilien Boutillat. “The final cuvée is, of course, a Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, but Matthieu had full creative control of the liqueur of dosage, and Essential by Matthieu Yamoum fully matches his personality,” Boutillat says.
Yamoum wanted the Champagne to be approachable, but also a top-shelf option for Baccarat Hotel’s well-traveled patrons. On the nose, the shiny, golden liquid has notes of citrus fruits, pears, and minerality, with a crisp taste and beautiful length in the mouth. It has a fresh finish with chalky notes, and pairs well with seafood, light meats, and creamy cheeses, like goat cheese. The Champagne is made with Pinot Noir, Meunier, and Chardonnay grapes and is bright and refreshing. Essentiel by Matthieu Yamoum is available exclusively by the glass at Baccarat Hotel New York, as well as at Michelin-starred restaurant Gabriel Kreuther in New York. The renowned chef is also Baccarat Hotel’s culinary director.
The Baccarat Hotel New York, which was the brand’s first hotel, has the country’s largest list of sparkling wines, with more than 300 selections of bubbly, all curated by Yamoum. There’s something for everyone, with bottles ranging from $150 to $50,000 (the latter of which is a gold-encased jeroboam of Cristal). The real treat, however, is the setting in which guests can enjoy these effervescent sips. Midtown Manhattan-based Baccarat Hotel New York is a veritable treasure trove of crystal delights, from sparkling chandeliers to ornate crystal objects, and filled with large bouquets of red roses at every turn. Enjoy a glass of Champagne at the utterly Parisian Grand Salon, decorated with platinum and neutral shades, parquet flooring, and high-backed banquettes. Adjacent to this spacious area is The Bar, with black-and-white tiled flooring and barrel vaulting inspired by the royal stables at Versailles.
If you’re planning a stay at Baccarat Hotel New York, the hotel is accepting overnight stays, but only in-room dining is currently available. We can’t imagine a better place to enjoy a glass of the new Essentiel by Matthieu Yamoum Champagne than in a magnificent hotel suite.
words by Emma Reynolds