This year marks a special milestone for the legendary champagne house of Épernay— the 150th anniversary of an emblematic product that has transcended its nature to become a universally acclaimed global icon: the mythic Brut Impérial, now known as Moët Impérial.
The fascinating history behind the name of this 150-year-old nonvintage brut champagne clearly illustrates the depth of its famous roots. Jean-Rémy Moët, grandson of the Maison’s founder, had a longstanding friendship with the man who became Emperor of France, Napoleon Bonaparte, and his wife, Joséphine, who was a woman of influence, taste and refinement. The relationship between the Bonapartes and the Moëts helped the legendary house develop its reputation, and become a prominent figure in European wine culture. Wanting to pay tribute to this imperial friendship, Moët launched this champagne in 1869 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Napoleon’s birth.
More than just a winemaker, Moët & Chandon is an integral part of the history of wine in France. Beyond the bubbles, it reflects key aspects of French culture, like sophistication, revelry and elegance— the pillars upon which this extraordinary champagne has built its international reputation. In 1893, Moët & Chandon obtained royal warrant as supplier of champagne to Queen Victoria. In 1930, French aristocrat Robert-Jean de Vogüé became head of the company. With his exceptional business skills, he helped establish associations to ensure the future of the Maison and other champagne makers. He was known primarily, however, for having opened new export markets for the “art of living” according to Moët & Chandon.
In his 40 years at the helm of the company, de Vogüé rubbed shoulders with American presidents, Hollywood stars, and the most influential artists of the 20th century. Along the way, he successfully promoted and showcased his flagship product, which is now the official champagne of the Golden Globe Awards and the reason that world champion drivers celebrate their victories by spraying the crowd with champagne.
Despite its iconic status and impact on popular culture, the legendary Moët Impérial shows no signs of aging despite its 150 years. Made in the traditional way, this divine nectar is a perfect balance of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, characterized by a bright fruitiness, a tasty, generous palate, and elegant maturity.
The future of Moët & Chandon promises to be no less sparkling than its spectacular past. Its cellar master, Benoît Gouez, believes that technique is not enough and that the winemaker’s sensibility is what gives a champagne its soul. In short, with a man of his calibre at the helm, the future of the Maison is guaranteed!