Featured in Bespoke Unit’s Best Champagne under $50, Moët & Chandon is an undeniably popular Champagne house. Therefore, we thought it obligatory to cover in a full and detailed review.
In the following review, you will learn about Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut. We will evaluate its robe, nose, palate and aromas as well as its value for money. You’ll also be able to read about the best pairings for this Champagne.
Overview Of Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut
- House: Moët & Chandon
- Cuvée: Brut Impérial
- Location: Épernay, Vallée de la Marne
- Grape Classification: Cru
- Vintage: No
- Blending Style: Tradition
- Grapes Used: 50% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Meunier, 10% Chardonnay
- Sugar Content: Brut
- Producer Identifier: NM-549-002
- Price On Amazon: $55 [Buy Now]
- Price On Wine.com: $50 [Buy Now]
- [Learn More About Identifying Champagne From The Label]
Founded in 1743 by Claude Moët, the house has a rich and fascinating history. In 1833, it obtained its full name when Pierre-Gabriel Chandon joined the house. One of its most interesting periods was perhaps during the Second World War when then-director, Robert-Jean de Vogüé brought together a number of houses and producers.
In order to protect themselves from exploitation by the Vichy regime and German occupation, they formed the Committee of Champagne Wine or “CIVC”. A dedicated resistance leader, you can find a statue of de Vogüé in Moët et Chandon’s hometown, Épernay.
Today, the house owns more than 1150 hectares (2800 acres) of land and produces and astonishing 28 million bottles every year.
Moët & Chandon’s Robe & Perlage
- Hue: Mid-Gold
- Transparency: Semi-Clear
- Bubbles: Minute & Graceful
Pouring a glass of Impérial Brut will reveal a mid-gold and mildly transparent robe. Although it is mostly clear, the liquid seems velvety and somewhat syrupy. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but should be interesting to try.
Meanwhile, the perlage consists of small, graceful bubbles that race to the surface in a thick stream of effervescence.
Moêt & Chandon Impérial’s Nose & Bouquet
Detected Nose Notes:
- 1st Nose: Almost Croissant, Green Apples, Honey
- 2nd Nose: White Flowers, Lemon Curd
Impérial Brut’s bouquet was a particularly interesting experience. Featuring intense and complex aromas, the notes were both vivid and diverse.
The first nose consisted of a surprising opening of almond croissants closely followed by acidic green apples and succulent honey.
The experience felt well-rounded and balanced in the nostrils with a nectar finish.
The following second nose was subtle but you can make out some white flowers as well as a citrusy and creamy lemon curd.
Moêt & Chandon’s Palate & Mouthfeel
Tasted Palate Notes:
- Opening: Cranberry, Ginger, Green Apples
- Heart: Citrus, Brioche
- Finish: Tobacco, Limestone
- Overall Flavour Length: Medium-Long
Whilst the nose often acts as a precursor to the tasted aromas, Moët & Chandon’s experience offered something different in each case. Opening with a burst of sharp cranberries, there were the green apples first detected in the nose as well as some spicy ginger.
The heart that followed consisted of yeasty brioche and citrus notes that I struggled to make out precisely but were still very pleasantly accorded. Finally, there were some unique notes of Virginia tobacco, which offered a light and aromatic aspect to the mouthfeel before a limestone finish.
The overall palate was simultaneously intense yet laid-back with a decidedly dry structure with a yeasty presence from the heart onwards. Meanwhile, the texture was velvety with a syrupy structure as promised by the robe. This paired well with its frothy mousse that created a creamy texture.
Although the wine’s body was quite young, it still maintained some complexity and offered a medium-long finish.
Overall Experience & Value For Money
Being one of the most famous Champagnes in the world, the label comes with a certain prestige. Fortunately, it does not disappoint and is elegantly made with a velvet fabric finish and embossed details.
On the other hand, the capsule is slightly underwhelming given that this is a premium Champagne and you’d hope for a little more than black lettering on a gold-coloured metal.
Meanwhile, the cork never full regained its shape suggesting that it had been bottled for some time. However, it was in good condition with no visible damage.
Finally, the value for money is quite reasonable. Being a famous label, it’s no surprise that it comes at a premium. However, it’s much cheaper in France at 30€ ($37 at the time of writing this review). Therefore, there is a fair increase in the USA.
Best Pairings With Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut
Despite its high percentage of pinot noir, Impérial Brut is a surprisingly subdued and understated Champagne. Although it features a rich character and complex notes, it’s not as powerful or as intense as was expected.
Therefore, it’s a much easier Champagne to pair. In fact, you could consider it with a number of seafood dishes such as caviar, oysters and grilled fish as well as different types of meat including cured and white varieties. Similarly, it would be a great accompaniment for vegetarian dishes and stir fry.
In terms of cheeses, it may not have the strength to stand up to blue or goat’s cheese. Nevertheless, it would fare well with hard of soft cow’s cheese. However, it wouldn’t pair well with any desserts as it’s too dry without many citrus notes.
Alternatively, it is also an ideal and versatile apéritif wine that will go well with a number of different side dishes such as scampi or tapenade. Given the tobacco note, it goes remarkably well with cigarettes or cigars including stronger Maduro wrappers.
Finally, the ideal serving temperature is around 10°C (50°F) but can be cooled down to 8°C (46.4°F) for those that prefer it fresh.
When Should You Drink Moët & Chandon?
Firstly, Moët & Chandon’s prestige makes it an incredibly versatile Champagne. Therefore, it can be used for almost any occasion from weddings to galas. it’s an easy option that will effortless please crowds. However, be sure to budget accordingly!
Although an expensive choice, it can even be enjoyed among friends provided that you really love them! That said, make sure that you know your audience whatever the occasion. A champagne that’s too prestigious may be seen as pompous or an attempt at showing off.
Moët & Chandon is a prestigious and grandiose but there are other low-key, lesser known big brands, which are excellent alternatives.
A simultaneously premium yet affordable Champagne, Moët & Chandon is a successful Champagne whatever the occasion. Being one of the most popular labels in the world, you’ll be certain that it won’t go unnoticed.
However, it also offers a complex and subtle experience with a versatile palate for a great number of dishes. If you’re looking for a prestigious experience that will easily please crowds or bring a smile to your face, you can do much worse than Impérial Brut.