On 9 Popular NV Champagnes

It’s high time we shared our views about popular non-vintage champagnes in Hong Kong.

Moët & Chandon's Brut Imperial gives some an emotional security. It is a bottle most would want to can rely on. This may sound silly, but this is

a wine-like Champagne, with red berry flavors from a majority of Pinot Noir, and a fruity core of roasted gold apples. Some 9 out of 10 connoisseurs would say that a classic or 'generic' toasted brioche, pear, and lime zest flavor, and as a whole, this wine is richer, and has a bit more heft than some. We cannot say it is good, but we confidently can say it is not bad and definitely not that bad. Definitely a safe, and might be, a boring choice right.

A softer champagne with quite some spectrum of nose, Mumm NV seems now drier than in the past with attractive apple and pear flavors (Anjou tones) that are cut by citrus. Notes of milky caramel, breadcrumbs and yeast, culminating in aromas of dried fruit and honey.

On palate, it has big vanilla, roast nut, toasty bread, as well as firm, prolific bubbles with good length and nice acidities. There is a predominance of Pinot Noir, a strong presence of Chardonnay and a touch of Pinot Meunier. Some 25% to 30% of reserve wine is added to the base wine, so there is a bit of complexity at the finish. Mumm to Team seems to be tasty champagne: it tastes smarter and bodied than before (ABV12%).

Out of 8657 Vivino tasters, 11% rated it 5-star and almost 50% voted 4-star. But it does suffer from image(Napa Sparkling) and product(change hands and style consistency) positioning issues.

Quite a vigorous bottle. More for celebration events for car racing more than horse racing? Recent score upgraded from WS90 to RP92.

Champagne Bollinger's Special Cuvée, of a different class to Moet NV, smelled a bit like rich coconut, and offered a savory, winey richness that some tasters liked, but others weren't wowed. Taste rich and expensive. Classy and richer people may buy? Wine tasters may would say it tastes clumsy. But if you are looking for something rich with elegance at the same time rather than refreshing, this is the one.

In contrast to Bollinger NV, Veuve Clicquot NV captures a strong group of supporters for strength and richness. Lemony with fine bubbles; aromas of apple, pear, toast and brioche; the palate is extra-dry and medium to full body with flavours that match the aromas. Surely that 9g/L adds some richness to the VCP. Distinctive image.

With a bigger nose than Moet Chandon, and with lemon curd, green apples, orangey, kim-quat, peachy, minerals, and apple sauce , Champagne Piper Heidsieck's Brut NV surges forth an herby touch, grilled toast and marzipan before soaring to an apogee of excitement, as always for Champagne lovers who like good and intense whites as well. Dense, layered, and energetic/prolific bubbles, and finishes with almond paste and a hint of biscuit, it is of medium length/wide palate. Composition is 55% Pinot Noir, 15% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Meunier.) Fresh, this bottle is freshly disgorged and upped its quality. This red-labelled non-vintage always punches above its weight in the quality and value stakes. A favourite of HKWS as well, to us this CHamapgne is loved because of its excellent cost performance and also being 'Grand' and 'Bold' in palate. Non supporters may say this is not as elegant, say as compared to Perrier-Jouet, Louis Roederer and Jacquart.

Louis Roederer's Brut Premier reminds some of our tasters the good ginger ale(distinctive to Moet's NV) It's toasty with round cooked-apple flavors. Quite solid, tight bubbles, which are quite prolific too. We don’t know who drink this, but definitely not for those who cannot pronounce the names confidently. Crystal seems to have shadowed any champs from Louis Roederer(pronounced like 'lou-e rhu-de-rey'). That not too emmient on positioning gives a bit of 'niche'. This is a new sample from the UK, so this one is very fresh!!! Composed of blend of around 40% Pinot noir, 40% Chardonnay, and 20% Pinot Meunier, this all-rounder Brut Premier comprises wine matured in oak tuns produced from three Champagne grape varieties that originate from various crus selected by Louis Roederer. It is aged for 3 years in Louis Roederer’s cellars and left for a minimum of 6 months after dégorgement.

Charles Heidsieck's Brut Reserve, as their go-to Champagne. It's more of a classy dinner-party sipper than a festive toast—it's rich, full of apple pie filling flavors, fruit and clove and nutmeg, with malty grainy notes that some would describe as biscuity. It's elegant wine with a sparkle of tangy lemon acidity and an orange-peel edge that keeps it from getting cloying. Since there's lots of golden toastiness in this wine, serve it with crisp-skinned chicken (fried if you dare) or pate on toast. CharlesHeidsieck Brut Reserve is really toasty for the class. For successfully dads may be? A lot of older members in Hong Kong Wine Society like this one

Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut NV, is shimmery, floral, and crystalline, lacking the cashew-and-cream unctuousness of the Moet Brut. It's very polished and clean, effervescent and light, with hints of thyme and dried pineapple ring. Elegant and quiet, it’s quite a pretty choice for some. Very lady-like-cultured and learned. Drinkers of Perrier-Jouet always seem slim and pretty too?

Jacquart's Brut Mosaique always gives tight bubbles. That edgy

character is unique. Looks like it is a champ for the more knowledgeable and no-nonsense guys. The intensely caramel-flavored vanilla-scented wine may seem too oaky-seeming for some; it might please someone who generally loves California Chardonnay.

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