UK Remains Champagne’s #1 Market

Champagne exports across the globe has increased by 3.4% in value while the number of bottles exported fell by four million in 2012, according to the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC).
UK remains Champagne’s number one market, for the 17th year in a row. Amounting to 32.4m bottles; the UK is 6.1% down in volume but 0.5% up in value.

The increase in value was due to heavy spending from wealthy consumers of Russia and China living and visiting London. Restaurants, hotels, elite bars and clubs account for 30% of UK sales.

“We are seeing a new market emerging, as discerning consumers come and settle in London from developing Champagne markets such as China, India and Russia,” said Françoise Peretti of UK Champagne Bureau.
She pointed out that the value increase is due to restaurants, hotels, elite bars and clubs that account for 30% of UK sales.

“London truly is leading the way as the place to come and explore the best of Champagne’s diversity,” said Peretti.

Champagne Brands Eye China

Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Taittinger and other champagne houses could spearhead a move into China, in an indication of changing tastes.

Robert Beynat, chief executive of Vinexpo, was speaking to the Wall Street Journal following the publication of a new study.

99.5% of wine currently consumed in still wine. “The Chinese ignore the sparkling wines right now,” Beynat said.

He attributed this to a shortage of marketing by the champagne industry, and said leading brands would play an important future role in educating Chinese consumers about sparkling wines.

The overall growth in wine consumption in China is expected to slow to 39.6% over the next four years, compared with the 142% increase seen between 2007 and 2011.

Vinexpo expects 252m cases of wine to be consumed annually in China by 2016, up from 159m in 2011.

Beynat said the slowdown was a natural correction after the explosion in demand witnessed in China in recent years.

Nonetheless, he anticipated that the country would remain a growth story, as he pointed out China is expected to become the world’s sixth largest wine producer in 2016, ahead of Chile and Australia. “The more you produce, the more you drink,” he noted.

French wines still rule the Chinese market, accounting for around 48% of imports in terms of volume.

China’s per capita consumption is predicted to increase from 1.4 litres of wine per person to 2.1 litres over the next three years. This remains far behind France, the top nation on this metric, at 53.2 litres per person.

Source: AFP/Wall Street Journal

Hedonism Wines….In a class of its own

Liz Palmer, Tatiana Fokina, Michelle Cartwright, & Ryan Ebner

Hedonism Wines has launched – this new concept in fine wine retailing is located in Mayfair where fashion and luxury meet at 3-7 Davies St. London.

CEO Tatiana Fokina gave me a personal tour of the store detailing each area, she said:

“We are aiming to become the pinnacle of wine retail, providing first of all an exceptional level of customer service and a personal, concierge-like approach to every customer.”

The Wines and Spirits

Specializing in the world’s finest wines and spirits together, CEO Tatiana Fokina and management have employed UK’s top wine buyers to carefully source 1,500 spirits and 4,500 wines from each region of the world through producers, importers, auction houses and private collections. As a result Hedonism Wines is now home to some of the world’s classics.

The Design

Aside from the exquisite fine wines and spirits, Hedonism Wines has generated a name for itself in terms of design.

They have created a contemporary, innovative space to showcase their wines and spirits while offering an easy to browse environment.

Interiors were created by design heavy weights Universal Design Studio; featuring exposed brick walls, floor to ceiling glass cabinets and light is an integral element in creating Hedonism’s character. The sources of accent lighting and perimeter shelf lighting are integrated into the architecture so as to be imperceptible, allowing the visual focus to be kept on the wines and spirits.

Delivery and Availability

Delivery within the hour to central London areas is available via electric vans; delivery is also available to the rest of the UK and overseas. Hedonism Wines has pledged that should a specific bottle be unavailable and it is requested, the team will do their best to source the wine.

Hedonism Wines
3-7 Davies St. W1K 3LD
London, UK

+44 (020) 729-078-70

www.hedonism.co.uk

Champagne 2012 will be an ‘exceptional’ vintage

Champagne producers Dom Perignon, Philipponnat and Champagne Barons de Rothschild have confirmed they will make a 2012 vintage.

Despite what vignerons called one of the worst growing seasons they had seen for decades, with April frosts, hailstorms, and one of the wettest summers on record, they are optimistic for 2012 vintage quality.
‘The quality and the intensity are definitely there to make an outstanding vintage,’ Dom Perignon chef de cave Richard Geoffroy told Decanter.

Winegrowers said the warm weather in August was a saving grace. As harvest grew closer it became apparent that the small amounts of grapes on the vines were of excellent quality. In September as grapes were picked and pressed, often at close to 11% alcohol, the growers were amazed at the concentration of flavour, natural sugar and acidity, then a talk of a potential vintage started to spread.

‘The base wines show a lovely richness as well as the acidity needed to make outstanding and long-lived Champagnes,’ Jean-Phillipe Moulin, director of wine making at Champagne Barons de Rothschild and Paul Goerg. ‘We will definitely bottle a vintage for both brands.’

Charles Philipponnat at Champagne Philipponat agreed. ‘2012 is an exceptional vintage and especially promising for Pinot Noir,’ he said, and was echoed by at least three other producers, including Champagne Boizel and Champagne Tarlant.

Benoit Tarlant said the quality of all three grape varieties was ‘excellent – something which is extremely rare’.
He added that he would make less non-vintage this year. ‘It would be a pity not to make a decent amount of vintage wine, even if it means we have a little less of of our non-vintage cuvee.’

The harvest average in 2012 was just under 9,000 kg/hectare – significantly lower than the maximum allowance of 11,000kg/hectare.

Source: Decanter

BOLLINGER ROSÉ: BACK TO 1846

Bollinger’s Rosé has been repackaged in the new 1846-inspired bottle that was first launched last year.
The label and foil have been given a different shade of pink and the box has been given a metallic sheen for “greater shelf stand-out”.

A QR code has also been added on the back label that will give consumers greater access to information on the Champagne, how it is made and what to pair it with, as well as increase its traceability.

The bottle shape was inspired by a collection of old bottles unearthed in Bollinger’s cellar dating back from 1846. A revolution indeed, with four formats, from half-bottle to jeroboam, displaying this fabulous innovation. There is undoubtedly a strong heritage element, but above all this new bottle format helps to optimize the quality of Bollinger’s cuvées. Close to the perfect balance of a “small magnum”, with a more slender neck and a wider base, the 1846 bottle “slows down the exchange of oxygen slightly, and thereby offers superior wine quality,” according to Cellar Master Mathieu Kauffmann. The Special Cuvée bottles are the first to adopt the elegant curves of the 1846 bottle, and this very special format will then be gradually applied to the entire range: one by one Bollinger Rosé, La Grande Année and La Grande Année Rosé, Bollinger R.D. and, lastly, Vieilles Vignes Françaises will each take on the new format.

Alongside the aesthetic, modern science has allowed Bollinger to design a bottle that acts as a “small magnum”, with the slimmer neck meaning the wine ages at a slower rate thanks to a decrease in the oxygen exchange through the cork.