Champagne Wine Review of Non-Vintage Moët & Chandon Ice Imperial Rosé Sparkling, France
Score: 89/100 points
Launched in 2016, Moët & Chandon describes its new product as the “most revolutionary experience in the sun.”
Certainly Moët, the biggest producer of French Champagne, has put emphasis on producing a smooth and fruity blend, focusing on the rounder red grapes of Champagne with 45 to 55% Pinot Noir (the blend varying slightly overtime, year on year), and more importantly the soft and expressive Pinot Meunier which accounts of 35 to 45% (10% of which is vinified as a red wine).
About 10% ‘only’ of the blend is made up with the white Chardonnay grape.
The dosage (added sugar at bottling) is at 38 grams per liter, making of Ice Imperial Rosé officially a Demi-Sec bubbly, understand a rather sweet one but not overly so (half-sweet).
About Adding Ice into a Wine
Adding ice to wine when serving is a rather controversial move among wine connoisseurs. The frozen water tends to dilute the structure and modify the balance winemakers have meant to craft.
The cold blocks the expression of aromas and flavors, as it sorts of captures them and holds them into the liquid.
It is even worth when it comes to red wine, where a cold temperature can make the tannins and phenolics feel harsher, exacerbating their astringency. You can red more on the topic with our article: Why You Should Bever Add Ice Cubes to Red Wine.
That said, if a wine is specially designed and blended through its winemaking to be served on ice, winemakers can supposedly make sure the wine is concentrated enough to withstand some dilution, and pungent-enough aromatically to remain expressive at very low temperatures.
I certainly found this being the case in my review of Moët & Chandon’s white version of the Ice Imperial.
So, is the pink Rosé Ice Imperial as successful, and well-crafted enough to make for a desirable and successful summer drink?
Let’s find out with my review notes below…
Overall Review Notes & Tasting Impressions
The bright pink packaging on an immaculate bottle-wrapping background made me expect a bright and vibrant pink color.
Ice Imperial Rosé appears in fact with a vibrant yet delicate salmon pink hue, typical of what you expect from a fine Champagne rather than a sweet and showy pink bubbly.
The aromatic profile is equally subtle, and surprisingly, rather introvert. Discrete notes of pomegranate, raspberry with hints of brioche and sweet spices.
The nose suggests the smell of a cinnamon bun with whipped cream and strawberry jam on the side. Tempting and appealing to smell!
The palate does feel diluted by the ice though, more so I found than what the Ice Imperial White Champagne delivers.
The rosé feels a little thin in body. The good acidity, and the obvious sugars hold their presence well however despite the added water, underlined by delicately drying and bitter phenolics.
Pungent flavors of red berries, mixed sweet spices, and citrus (pink grapefruit, orange and lime) are delivered with elegant notes of buttery brioche.
A tasty drink, very refreshing thanks to the super-cold temperature from the ice, but that tastes more like a cocktail rather than a complex and delicate wine.
Ice Imperial Rosé would be very pleasant on warm and festive summer nights though, which is the point of it and therefore probably perfectly fine. So long as you don’t expect the complex taste of a Champagne wine.
A balanced and zesty semi-sweet and acidic rosé, and a simple, refreshing summery drink for sure.
The relatively low 12% alcohol content to start with, decreased further by the dilution from the ice, make for a relatively light drink, an advantage on a hot day as I did find the effects of alcohol here to be rather mild.
If you’re after a wine that is low in calories though, this won’t be it because of the significant amount of added sugar.
Watch the Review of Ice Imperial Rosé in Video