Will France’s Champagne vineyards be added to UNESCO’s prestigious World Heritage List?

 

The candidacy has been six years in the making and producers will have to wait until July 2014 to hear the decision.

 

The volume of fake champagne sold on the market is said to equal the stock of the real French product. That’s 330 million bottles, according to Jean-Luc Barbier, the director of the Interprofessional Committee of Champagne Wine (CIVC).

 

The competition is particularly unfair since fake bubbly is produced without respecting any of the traditional local rules of Champagne. Fakes rarely cost more than seven Euros, while an authentic Champagne bottle costs between 18 and 200 Euros, and more for exceptional vintages.

 

Champagne is not the first wine-producing region seeking the protection of the UNESCO classification. Five sites are already registered in the World Heritage List: Saint-Emilion, France, the Upper Douro Valley, Portugal, Tokaj Coast, Hungary, Lavaux, Switzerland and Pico Island, Azores.

Bollinger launches Champagne bottle that ‘slows ageing process’


Bollinger used the London International Wine Fair last week to unveil a unique 75cl bottle that mimics the shape of a magnum.

The new packaging was inspired by a 1846 bottle of Bollinger found in the company’s cellars.

Speaking at the launch, Bollinger CEO Jérôme Philippon advised that the switch was motivated by a desire “to develop a unique and authentic bottle for Bollinger”. “My objective is to further the differentiation of Bollinger: our taste is different and our bottle shape should be different, and unique to us,” Jérôme added.

He also explained that the new shape had a “side benefit”.

This is connected to the bottle’s slightly broader base and narrower neck, which ensures there is a reduced oxygen contact with the Champagne compared to a standard bottle.

This change should mean that oxidation of the Champagne in the bottle will take place at a slightly slower rate, which, Jérôme believes, will be somewhere between the rate for a standard bottle and a magnum.

According to Mathieu Kauffmann, Bollinger’s chef de cave, the bottle will ultimately deliver a better wine, and “In addition to the aesthetic reasons, using the shape of this new bottle, which is more like a magnum with a narrower neck and a wider base, should very slightly slow down the oxygen exchange and therefore give a better quality wine,” he said.

The new bottle’s appearance makes it look like a scaled down magnum, and Jérôme pointed out that the ratio of the new bottle’s diameter at the neck to the diameter at the base is closer to a magnum than it is to a standard bottle.

Format

Neck diameter (mm)

Base diameter (mm)

Ratio

Standard

29

85

0.34

Magnum

29

115

0.25

New 75cl

26

93

0.28

Moët & Chandon Diamond Jubilee Cuvee

Moët & Chandon is toasting their relationship with the Queen by producing an exclusive “Diamond Jubilee Cuvee”.

Moët & Chandon has held the Royal Warrant since 1893 during the Queen Victoria period.  This recognition was reaffirmed in 1955 when Moët & Chandon was granted the Royal Warrant by HM Queen Elizabeth II, which has been maintained over the last fifty-seven years.

Moët & Chandon has created exclusive cuvees for both the Silver and Golden Jubilee celebrations. On this occasion, the Royal Household has given approval for the bottles to be sold. Diamond Jubilee bottles of Moët & Chandon Impérial will be available to purchase at Waitrose, Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Harrods and Berry Brothers & Rudd.

Jo Thornton, Managing Director of Moët Hennessy UK said, “Moët & Chandon is honoured to toast HM Queen Elizabeth’s remarkable reign with exclusive labels to commemorate and celebrate the Diamond Jubilee”.

 

Moët & Chandon Royal Warrant history:

1893 Queen Victoria

1906 King Edward VII

1931 King George V

1947 King George VI

1955 Queen Elizabeth II

 

 

Champagne Jacquart lines up acquisitions

Champagne Jacquart is eyeing acquisitions as it seeks to become a bigger international player.

Jacquart is looking for possible buys in the Champagne region and expects opportunities to come its way in the next couple of years.

“There’s a consolidation process going on in Champagne,” Jacquart’s MD, Laurent Reintau, told Harpers at the London International Wine Fair last week. “We want to be prepared for that,” he said.

The group and its parent arm, the Champagne Alliance cooperative, have already shown their desire to expand, having acquired Montaudon Champagne from Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton in 2010. Jacquart is looking to require more vineyards and stock as it seeks to expand into US and Asia.

While the UK and Germany remain the firm’s key export markets, volume sales of its Champagne to Japan are up 35% year-to-date, according to Reinteau. “Asia is becoming significant and is seeing significant growth,” he said, adding that Jacquart is also making inroads in the “magic triangle” of Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong.

However, Reinteau said that the company will not be rushed into expansion. “We know it will take time.” In 2011, Jacquart sold 3m bottles of Champagne, of which 55% was exported.

Reinteau said that, alongside emerging markets, he is pleased with his firm’s efforts to expand distribution in high-end bars and independent retailers in the UK over the past year. Distribution and premium positioning are key in the UK, he said. “The UK is still a major market for Champagne, but we can’t expect big growth.”

Source: Harpers

Armand de Brignac releases the world’s largest bottle of Rosé Champagne

The 15l Nebuchadnezzar Armand de Brignac Rosé which is equivalent to twenty 75cl bottles or about 80 to 90 glasses is housed in the brand’s signature metallic bottle and finished with a “pewter” ace of spades. A limited number of bottles have been produced for the international market.

Released just in time for the summer market, the Nebuchadnezzar will make its debut at club Nikki Beach, St Tropez on 1 June.

“This was the perfect time for us to release the Nebuchadnezzar as Rosé is synonymous with summer,” said Philippe Bienvenu, commercial director of Armand de Brignac.

Yvonne Lardner, Armand de Brignac’s director of PR reports an interest in Ace of Spades Rosé from men: “We’ve found our Rosé to be really popular with men, the stigma towards the style seems to have gone.”

Tasting Notes:

Armand de Brignac Rosé is fresh and full-bodied with a rich bouquet of red fruits and aromas of strawberries and blackcurrant – perfect for enjoying in the sunshine,” – Philippe Bienvenu