Review: Moët & Chandon Nectar Imperial NV

The world’s largest producer of champagnes by a fair margin, Moët et Chandon is a juggernaut of a house based in Epernay, Champagne.

Founded in 1743 by Claude Moët, the brand now sits within the prestigious LVMH group (as the M, no less) as one of it’s most distinguishable brands. With 1150 hectares of vineyards and a production volume of some 28 million bottles annually it is without rival in terms of size. To meet the demands Moët has had to apply some very innovative thinking to its manufacturing; such as reliance on robotics to move vintages around with minimal downtime.

While the NV Brut Imperial is an exercise in bulk champagne production – the Demi Sec Nectar Imperial is one of the more “uncommon” blends from Moet. Using a fair amount of dosage (sugar content) – up to 5 times more than your typical “Brut” fashioned drinks – demi sec is for those who enjoy a more ripe and fruity expression in their drinks. They can also (with the right mixers) be shaped into some great cocktails – however the cost is somewhat prohibitive.

Similar to Brut Imperial, aging is a moderately short period – much of the expression of the wine is drawn out by the sugar.

The question remains – will throwing a pile of sugar improve a champagne significantly enough, and will it still be enjoyable or drinkable?

Lets find out.

Moet Nectar Imperial NV Demi Sec
Moet Nectar Imperial NV Demi Sec

Details:

From: Epernay, Champagne, France
Code: NM-549-002
Cost & Source: ~$70 a bottle available from most liquor stores

Blend Ratio (%): Pinot Noir/Chardonnay/Pinot Meunier (40-50/10-20/30-40) with a Dosage of 45g/L
Aging: Unknown (around 2 years estimated)
Disgorged: Unknown

Sipped: June 2017

In the Glass:

Look: Soft Honeyed gold, with medium sized bubbles in a strong fizz.

Smell: The sugary sweetness of the Demi-Sec is captured with deep notes of crème brulee, accentuated with hints of fresh bread and ripe berries.

Taste: The sugary additions to Nectar Imperial really drive home a unique flavour – with a fresh sweet introduction that has elements of ripe stone fruit, soft lemon, fresh cherries and musk – which mellows out to more developed, caramelised flavours like meringue, with only a touch of bread elements from the fermentation yeasts coming through to make the finish taste a little like bruised fruit.

Apple pie and cinnamon influences can also be found.

It goes down well and is easily drinkable – as it also has no acidic bite due to the style not being tart and dry.

For established drinkers of table wines, the sweetness may not be to your liking – and it can be a bit too much over time.

Recommendations:

Party Potential: Forget providing this for everyone at say, a big birthday bash – Demi-Sec is too sweet of a drink – think of it as you would a Moscato. This is small dinner party fare, or a get together with girlfriends, or if you want to splash out; night club fare.

BYO – take a bottle for small gatherings on the balcony as a kick-off before a big night.

As a Gift: As with the Brut: Moët is the most common, safe option champagne you can buy for anyone who knows something or nothing about champagne. The Nectar Imperial is for the person you know that is a bit of a sweet drink fan.

At Home: Moët is an anytime drink – parties, outings, the races – and even at home with friends. Such is the brand’s versatility.

Matching: It’s so hard to match a sweet wine like this to anything other than a nice dessert, or a fruit platter.

Score & Verdict:

6.75/10

The sweetie of a renown family. Bubbly, easy to get along with and great company in a cluster of fun friends and awesome at parties. Gives a bit of a buzz – but a bit more pricey to hang with than its siblings.

At $70 I feel it is reasonable value for the quality.

How did I drink it?

Birthday drinks with the miss before heading out for dinner.

How did you drink it?

And how did you find it? Let me know!

 

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