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.