Laurent-Perrier launches limited release prestige cuvée in London

Laurent-Perrier launched a limited release prestige cuvée in London last night to celebrate their bicentenary.

A magnum of Grand Siècle Reserve was poured at Claridge’s during the Champagne launch.

The Grand Siècle Les Reserves, multi-vintage blend has been bottled in only magnums and jeroboams and incorporates wines from the 1990, 1993 and 1995 harvests.

Poured for the first time at the Claridge’s Hotel at an intimate event comprising of longstanding customers and “friends” of Laurent-Perrier, including celebrity gardener Alan Titchmarsh.  The new prestige cuvée is on allocation, although production figures aren’t being disclosed.

“Despite the ripe nature of the 1990 vintage and the age of the base wines, the Champagne has a surprisingly youthful and fresh character which can be partly ascribed to the fact the blend was disgorged just three months ago”, according to David Hesketh MW, managing director of Laurent-Perrier UK.

“We wanted to demonstrate the lightness and freshness of Laurent-Perrier, even with our older Champagnes,” he explained.

Jeroboams will be sold exclusively in Selfridges UK, and will, in a first for the Champagne house, be disgorged to order.


Source:  Drinks Business

Raffles Hotel celebrates 125 years with Champagne Sling

In celebration of its 125th year, the iconic Long Bar at Raffles Hotel, Singapore has created a new Champagne Sling called the ‘1887’.

Not your standard tipple, the 1887 is a subtle twist on the traditional sling with a base of Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve Champagne. The recipe for this high precision cocktail is a closely guarded secret, but its creator, Randolf Velasco, reveals that Gordons Gin, Cointreau and essence of orange, lemon and lime all play a key role.

The utterly indulgent anniversary sling is available from September exclusively at Raffles hotels worldwide, including Singapore, Raffles Beijing Hotel, Raffles Dubai and Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris.

It was 125 years ago in 1887 that Raffles Hotel first opened its doors and welcomed its first guests. Today, the hotel is virtually synonymous with Singapore, named after the city’s founder, Sir Stamford Raffles.

Throughout the years, the glamorous guest list has read like a Who’s Who of business tycoons and adventurers, politicians and movie stars, authors and writers – all of whom fed in to the stories and legends, both fact and fiction, which have added to the mystic of the hotel ever since.

The Singapore Sling is one such legend. Invented in 1915 by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon at Raffles Hotel, no visit to the city is complete without a stop in the fabled Long Bar to enjoy this great classic cocktail and – in the spirit of tradition – to toss a few peanut shells on the bar floor.

Liz Palmer

TNS Report predicts glittering future for Champagne and sparkling wines

It may seem surprising that in these times of economic doom and gloom consumers should be increasing the amount of sparkling wines and Champagne they drink but according to new research by TNS that’s exactly what’s happening.

Based on an independent global survey of over 39,000 people in 17 markets – the Commitment Economy – TNS says that despite the challenging economic environment, consumers are still keen to indulge their taste for the finer things in life. A combination of increased spending among current sparkling wine drinkers and new drinkers in the developing world is presenting wine producers with an opportunity to grow the category by enticing consumers away from traditional alcohol favorites.

Pricing still remains an issue. TNS’s modeling exercise found that Champagne and other sparkling wines could increase their overall share of total drinking occasions from 5.1 percent to 7.8 percent if all those who wanted to drink them were able to. “While we can see a huge worldwide appetite to drink more sparkling wine and Champagne, most people are still held back by cost. These drinks are perceived as indulgences, enjoyed mainly on special occasions,” said Jan Hofmeyr, chief researcher, Behavior Change, at TNS. He added however “the good news for winemakers is that people consider sparkling wines both taste better and offer greater enjoyment than other alcoholic drinks. So, if affordable sparkling wines can be made more accessible, particularly in developing markets, and be positioned as a drink for celebrating life rather than only special occasions, the sector has a sparkling future.”

The greatest growth is likely to come from India and China, says TNS, where current low shares of 0.4 and 0.7 percent could quadruple to 1.9 and 2.5 percent respectively. In more mature markets like the UK and US the share could nearly double, to 9.1 and 6.5 percent respectively. Of all the markets studied, Spain was the only one where consumption of sparkling wines is set to decline, with a potential 0.4 percent drop in market share. However, TNS believes that with increasing international demand, cava producers need not fear if their distribution model is right.

Elsewhere, sparkling wine and Champagne consumption is expected to jump by 4.2 percent in Brazil, off a current market share of 3.5 percent, by 5.4 percent in Nigeria where the current share is also fairly low at 3.6 percent, and by 4.2 percent in South Africa (2.4 percent). Off a much more significant base (12.5 percent), the category is expected to continue to rise (+2.2 percent) in France, Germany (+1.9 percent/9.9 percent), Russia (+2.9 percent/8.1 percent) and Australia (+1.7 percent/7.6 percent).

“The study does not indicate that consumers plan to increase their alcohol consumption overall, more that they would like to drink sparkling wines more regularly,” Hofmeyr pointed out.



Henri Giraud launches UK Champagne Bar

Champagne Henri Giraud has launched “Giraud Champagne Bar”, its first Champagne bar in the UK .  The Aÿ-based house has set up the in the courtyard of Amuse Bouche in Parsons Green, West London. With seating for 30, the the new champagne bar offers four different Champagnes from the Henri Girard range, by both the glass and bottle: Blanc de Blancs NV, Esprit Rosé NV, Hommage à François Hémart Grand Cru and Code Noir Grand Cru NV.  Other offerings include  smoked ham, fig bruschetta, mini beef skewers with teriyaki sauce and wild mushroom risotto balls canapés.
Source:  Drinks Business

Charles Heidsieck is set to release revamped expressions of Brut Reserve & Rosé Reserve

Champagne Charles Heidsieck is set to release revamped expressions of its Brut Reserve and Rosé Reserve variants in the U.S. next month. The “newly refined” Charles Heidsieck Brut ($65) and Rosé ($80) are made from equal proportions Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Both are aged for more than three years and are packaged in newly designed bottles made in the shape of magnums. The new Brut and Rosé offerings’ labels are a recreation of a 1926 vintage label found on bottles in Charles Heidsieck’s cellars in Reims. Rémy Cointreau USA serves as Charles Heidsieck’s U.S. importer.

Source:  Shanken