Richard Juhlin Blanc De Blancs Vs Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial

An honest review of a first time non alcoholic sparkling wine drinker against the alcoholic champagne

Two titan producers go head to head for this month’s review: Richard Juhlin Vs Moët & Chandon. Moët et Chandon is one of the world's largest champagne producers and their Brut Impérial has become one of the world's most-loved Champagnes. It is a tough act to follow but if any non alcoholic sparkling can, it is Richard Juhlin’s. For those who don’t know him, Richard Juhlin is a massive deal in the sparkling world. He is recognised as the world’s leading sparkling  connoisseur. Juhlin joined forces with Odd Bird, a modern Swedish wine company, to create this top-notch alcohol free sparkling white wine and champagne alternative.

Look and smell

Richard Juhlin Blanc De Blancs pours like any luxurious champagne does. The bubbles smoothly and generously fill the flute. It looks and sounds exactly like you’d expect from a champagne alternative: sizzling bubbles that immediately bring joy and excitement. On the nose, it has notes of apples, pear, citrus, almond, and buttery brioche.

The Juhlin’s non alcoholic sparkling wine actually smells very similar to the Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial. This bestseller sparkling has a nose of roasted hazelnut, apricot jam, lemon marmalade, crisp citrus, and buttery brioche. To the eye, the difference is visible in the golden straw yellow colour, darker than the champagne alternative’s colour.

Look and smell winner: Draw

The non alcoholic sparkling wine smelled and looked very similar to the Brut Impérial. While there are differences, they are both extremely appealing.

Taste and drinkability

Taking the first sip of Juhlin’s alcohol free sparkling wine, I was impressed by how fresh and dry it is. The palate develops into a subtle fruity finish which never turns too sweet. The flavour is delicate and complex. A palette of lime, green apples, and pear make for a refreshing and elegant alcohol free sparkling wine. It definitely meets the expectation of a Blanc the Blanc: a sparkling made exclusively from white grapes, in this case, 100% Chardonnay grapes. This fine non alcoholic sparkling wine is aged in oak barrels for up to 12 months, which gives the wine a sweeter vanilla undertone and a complex and balanced palette. It is de-alcoholised using a gentle patented method that retains the wines’ natural aroma and character while leaving 0% alcohol in it.

The first sip of Moët Impérial is just as impressive. The freshness comes through immediately, with  a taste of green apple and citrus fruit. As it develops in my mouth I can taste some sweeter elements, like white flowers, brioche bread, and fresh nuts, together with softness from pear, peach, and apple. It has a long and layered finish. The alcoholic champagne is fuller in the body, due to the fact that it is made by 30-40% of pinot noir grapes. Overall, it is very well balanced, dry but rich.

Taste and drinkability winner: Richard Juhlin Blanc De Blancs

Richard Juhlin Blanc De Blancs non alcoholic sparkling wine wins for its sophisticated flavour and superior health benefits. It tastes just as good as any alcohol-based product, even the best ones such as Moët Brut Impérial, but it has none of the drawbacks of an alcoholic beverage.

Overall winner

Richard Juhlin Blanc De Blancs thoroughly impressed me. It is absolutely exquisite, with an appealing look and a dry and refreshing palette. It’s easy for non alcoholic sparkling wines to end up too much on the sweet side, but this one avoided that pitfall masterfully. Shouldn’t be surprising, considering the caliber of the name endorsing it. In short, it is an excellent and rare high-quality alcohol free sparkling wine with all the characteristics of a classic French bubbly. It wins because it can be your chosen champagne alternative and most people would be none the wiser.

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