LVMH appoints Berta de Pablos-Barbier and new CEO for Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon and Mercier

French luxury group Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH) has appointed Berta de Pablos-Barbier as its CEO for its Champagne houses Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon and Mercier.

With current CEO Stephane Baschiera stepping down in the New Year, his place will be taken by Berta de Pablos-Barbier, currently an executive at Mars Wrigley.

Pablos-Barbier will take on her new role on January 1st, with Baschiera staying on until the end of that month to aid the handover.

Baschiera has spent 24 years at Moët Hennessy, the last eight as head of Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon and Mercier. Pablos-Barbier meanwhile has degrees in agricultural engineering and food sciences from the University of Valencia and the IFM’s executive MBA in Global Fashion Management. She is currently chief growth officer at Mars having previously held senior positions at Boucheron and Lacoste.

Philippe Schaus, chief executive and CEO of Moët Hennessy said: “I am delighted to welcome Berta de Pablos-Barbier to the management of Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon and Mercier. Thanks to her initial training in agronomy, Berta will be able to understand the field of viticulture and winemaking.

“Alongside Stéphane Baschiera, she will devote the whole month of January to this integration in order to ensure perfect continuity in the management of our three houses. I am convinced that, with the support of her teams, she will play a decisive role in the development of Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon and Mercier.”

The group’s other Champagne houses, Krug, Ruinart and Veuve Clicquot, all have their own CEOs, with Pablos-Barbier now the second female CEO alongside Krug’s Maggie Henríquez.

Why has confidence in fine wine increased in 2020?

Despite the headwinds of 2020 – tariffs, Brexit uncertainty and the global pandemic – the wine market has remained robust. Today’s post examines what has changed and offers an explanation as to why we are seeing greater confidence in the market during these exceptional times.

Increased liquidity

One of the key changes this year is an increase in market liquidity, which is reflected in the rising value of bids and offers on the Liv-ex marketplace. The total exposure (total value of bids and offers) reached a new record high of £81 million last week – a £30 million increase this time last year.

In recent months, both bids and offers have been on the rise. The bid to offer ratio (i.e. the total value of bids divided by the total value of offers) currently stands at 0.6. Traditionally, a bid-offer ratio of 0.5 or higher suggests positive sentiment.

A broadening market

Another noticeable difference is that more wines than ever are attracting buying interest, taking market share from the traditional strongholds of Bordeaux and Burgundy. As the chart below shows, the wine market has undergone considerable broadening in the past decade. Bordeaux’s share has halved from its peak in 2010 when it accounted for 95.7% of secondary market trade by value. As its share declined, others shined. Burgundy was the first and main benefactor; its trade share rising from 0.6% in 2010, to a record high of 19.7% in 2019. It has dipped slightly this year to 17.4%.

This year, Italy has been the big winner. Having reached an annual average of 8.8% in 2019, Italy now accounts for 15.3% of fine wine trade. As recently highlighted, the US wine market is also developing at unprecedented rate. USA accounted for just 0.1% of trade in 2010. Year-to-date, it stands at 7%.

And then, there is the Rest of the World – an increasingly diverse category. Up from 0.8% in 2010 to 5.9% in 2020, RoW trade so far in 2020 has been led by trade for Australia (1.8%), Spain (1.4%) and Germany (1%), though wines from Argentina, Austria, Chile, and Portugal to name but a few are seeing more and more activity.

What has changed?

So, why are we seeing such increased confidence in the wine market? One well-documented explanation is that investors are seeking to put their money into safer assets in these uncertain times. Historically, fine wine has offered steady returns and low volatility.  Another explanation is that there are simply more market participants than ever before. The number of wine businesses trading on Liv-ex has increased 15% in 2020 alone. This increase in members reflects a growing trend since the Covid-19 pandemic took hold – businesses are looking for web-based solutions to grow their sales.

One such solution is trading automation. Trading automation makes it easier for merchants to list stock for sale, exposing their diverse inventory to an ever-growing marketplace. Regions that once struggled to find a secondary market have been benefitting from the shift to online sales, particularly as lockdowns have closed much of the physical retail. Through APIs, stockholders have been able to list and advertise various wines to a far greater audience, as merchants have connected their customers to this ever-broadening market. Subsequently, wine merchants and private collectors have been able to find less well-known wines from a greater range of wine regions.

Despite an early swoon as the first lockdown took place, the fine wine market would seem to be in a relatively healthy place today. As a tangible, finite asset, it offers stability in a volatile world. It also of course offers a great deal of pleasure for imbibers who are locked down and deprived of their usual wining and dining! And importantly technology, as in so many sectors, has helped merchants from across the globe, to adapt, making wine more accessible and more exciting to all with an interest in it. Combined, these three things have put the wine market on a firm footing in 2020.

Source: Liv-ex

 

 

Perrier-Jouët launches eco-friendly gift box for the holiday season

After two years in development, Champagne house Perrier-Jouët just launched a new range of fully recyclable, eco-friendly gift boxes in perfect timing for the festive period.

The boxes will now be used to house its classic, non-vintage Champagnes, including Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut, Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé and Perrier-Jouët Blanc de Blancs.

The project follows two years of research and development in order to deliver packaging that merges “a minimalist aesthetic with a focus on sustainability”.

The white boxes are made from natural fibre, sourced from certified sustainable forests in northern Europe, and are embossed with water-based ink, which is free from mineral oils.

The eco gift box collection is available globally through various retailers, including, in the UK, through Fortnum & Mason (RRP: £47.50).

Perrier-Jouët is aiming to make its entire gifting offer fully sustainable by 2022. It has already introduced recyclable shipping cases that are made from grass paper.

Séverine Frerson, cellar master at Maison Perrier-Jouët, said: “For more than two centuries, Maison Perrier-Jouët has maintained a symbiotic relationship with nature which we are incredibly proud of.

“Our founders, Pierre-Nicolas Perrier and Rose-Adélaïde Jouët, were renowned for their keen interest in botany and for their progressive ideas on natural viticulture. Today, nature remains at the very heart of the House, and has provided the inspiration for this exquisite gift-box collection.”

Wine Review: Louis Pommery NV Brut Sparkling – California

Pommery is closely associated with Champagne; a few years ago, Pommery expanded to the USA under “Louis Pommery”, using California grapes to make a new world style sparkling wine.

After eight years of R & D, Cellar Director, and oenological DevelopmentManager Thierry Gasco refined a revolutionary method to craft wine with encapsulated yeast, which eliminates all deposits from the bottle, gives the wine an unprecedented degree of clarity and brilliance.

Using the methode champenoise principle this wine is made with 96% chardonnay and 4% pinot noir grapes.

Louis Pommery is an ode to the maison’s iconic style, evoking vivacity, freshness and finesse.

Tasting Notes:

Beautiful straw yellow colour with a lively effervescence; soft aromas of toasted baguette, fresh flowers with notes of green apples which flow through to the palate; slight citrusy note; the finish is long and toasty.

A wonderful and well-priced offering.

92 points

Vintages Release Date: September 5, 2020 –  # 15894

Bottle Size: 750 mL bottle

Alcohol/Vol:12.5%

Made In: California, USA

By: Vranken Pommery America

Sugar Content:10 g/L

Style: Medium body

Varietal: Chardonnay Blend

Redefining California cool and set to become a game-changer in the sparkling wine category!

Liz Palmer:  Review October 15 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moët & Chandon launches ‘Specially Yours’ personalized Christmas gift boxes

The gift boxes will be exclusively available in Selfridges, London in-store and online, priced at £49.99 for the Impérial and £58.99 for the Rosé Impérial.

The packaging can be personalized with a name or a message using up to fourteen characters. Gift boxes can be ordered by taking a bottle to a Selfridges personalization station in-store or selecting the relevant option online.

The gift box unveiling coincides with the launch of Moët & Chandon’s ‘London Calling’ campaign at the high-end department store. This will feature a Champagne bar and “concept space” featuring photographs of famous moments of celebration in London’s history.

The concept space is inspired by the design of the classic red telephone box, with space for guests to sip Champagne at a bar alongside the photographic exhibition.

Customers can choose from a range of Moët cuvées as well as Champagne cocktails, created in partnership with London bars Mr Fogg’s, Heads & Tails, Coupette and Disrepute.

A calendar of cocktail masterclasses will be held from 6 October to 25 November at Selfridges, co-hosted by Moët & Chandon’s Champagne Ambassador. These can be booked in advance https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/selfridges-oxford-street-london-6395244523