A WORD FROM 2023 PRESIDENTIAL HOUSE
Academicians and Friends,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
2023 marks the beginning of the 5th round of a rotating Champagne Academy Presidency set by alphabetical order. We are therefore extremely proud to become the new Presidential House this year.
The Academy has an extraordinarily rich history of which we have been a part ever since 1956. We, along with the other Houses, value the vital role of promoting Champagne within the UK wine industry, giving it the praise and recognition it truly deserves.
2022 threw new challenges, notably with an industry-wide Champagne shortage. We worked hard to meet the high demand for Champagne. The 2022 harvest, much to everyone’s relief, was a healthy and plentiful one that will allow to replenish stock in the coming years.
We would like to warmly welcome the class of 2023, made up of 16 worthy candidates, who will experience an unforgettable weeklong course in Champagne from 11th to 17th June. This wouldn’t be possible without the full support and commitment of the other 15 Grand Marques Houses and, in particular, our Vice-Presidential Houses of Charles Heidsieck & Taittinger.
We must also thank our new Chairman, Paul Walker, and all the Committee who work hard to keep the Academy alive, relevant, and prestigious.
In the meantime, we look forward to the year ahead, filled with an array of sparkling Champagne Academy dinners and tastings. We hope to raise a glass with you there!
Our warmest regards,
The Bollinger Family
2022 New Academicians
CHAIRMAN’S REPORT 2022
What a year 2022 has been!
We finally had the chance to welcome everyone back to a normal year of events and most importantly welcome our 16 extremely patient and eager Candidates on to the Course.
The year began with an Alternative Cuvee tasting at the Serpentine Gallery where we were fortunate enough to taste some amazing wines that were on show. Set in the beautiful surroundings of Kensington Gardens, the excitement was obvious and this was exactly the start to the new year we needed. At the start of April we held a long awaited Vintage tasting at the Royal College of Surgeons. A beautiful venue which again was a perfect setting for some fabulous Champagnes. Knowing the pressure the Houses were under with Vintage Champagnes in particular we all felt privileged that all the Houses put out their most recent vintages to taste. The buzz in the room was fantastic as was the engagement from each and every visitor.
May saw the annual London Dinner take place in the stunning surroundings of The Institute of Directors in Pall Mall. Attended by Clovis Taittinger and Rachel Debenham from Taiitinger France this was an incredible evening and reassured us that a form of normality had finally returned. The Dinner was even more special as many of the Candidates who were to depart on the Course the following month were in attendance. The Champagnes we had waited on for 2 years were finally allowed to be opened and everyone was certainly in the mood to celebrate. I would like to pass on sincere thanks to Martin Dibben for his help with organising this event as things still weren’t exactly running smoothly with the return to large scale events and therefore a lot of hands on experience was required and as we know there is no better man!
The 12th of June was a date that saw an event which was two years in the making. Having been instructed by France that the Presidential House must complete a course and have a years’ worth of Candidates before passing the baton this day had great significance. I met with ten of the extremely patient, enthusiastic and excited Candidates at St Pancras to have a glass of Taittinger and breakfast before departing on the first leg of what would probably be the most memorable week of their working lives. A super bunch of people from across the trade all eager to finally get started after the 2 years of waiting.
In France we met with the other 6 Candidates and immediately headed off the Royal Champagne to meet with our hosts for the week. It was an incredible experience for them all and for myself I treasured the opportunity of getting to share what I knew awaited them over the coming week. I was humbled speaking to our hosts and friends from the Maisons on how much they actually knew of what was happening within the Academy and of all the hard work that had been carried out by the Committee during lockdown. The changes we have made seemed to have reinvigorated their interest which led to an extremely energetic atmosphere.
I will let the words of the others describe the week they experienced and many of them have reports available on our Course section on the website. As you can imagine however, the hospitality, friendship, experience, professionalism and dedication we were shown cannot be matched anywhere else. The end of the week was amazing for everyone as this year the highest results ever achieved meant that the top 7 finished within only a few marks of each other. On the day however it came down to the one winner who was an absolute credit to us throughout the week. Extremely well done to Caroline Palma de Azevedo who won the Silver Ice Bucket. I want to take this opportunity to thank all 16 Candidates for welcoming me to share their week and for dedicating themselves fully to the Course and also to the Academy since graduation. I hope to enjoy many more glasses with you all at events in the future.
Find out more about the course & our new Academicians here: https://www.champagneacademy.co.uk/post/meet-the-class-of-2021
The End of September saw yet another incredible Scottish Dinner held in the beautiful surroundings of Mansfield Traquair in Edinburgh. Another extravaganza organised by Craig Bonner our Scottish Organiser and helped by the ever wonderful Frans Mortengren. Opening with a blind tasting of the 16 Houses the night was an incredible journey of local produce and amazing champagnes. The Blind tasting on this occasion may have caught a few Brand representatives out (Cannot say who) which again showed the importance of keeping education of what we do to the forefront.
The end of October was not only the end of the month but also the end of an Era! The Midlands Dinner has always been one of my favourites to attend purely down to the skill, passion and attention to detail of one man, Kevin Skeet. It was with great sadness but also honour that I presided over Kevins last event as our Midlands Organiser. The venue, food and impeccable organisation in the beautiful surroundings of the Grand Hotel in Birmingham will be a night I will always remember. Kevin, I thank you on behalf of the Committee, The Academy and Shippers as well as anyone who has ever attended one of you events. I would like to congratulate Sonal Clare on taking over from Kevin as our Midlands Organiser and knowing him I am sure he will bring something very creative to what we offer.
October also took us back to a regular venue which was also the same venue as the first ever Academy Dinner I attended as a guest. The amazing work or David Garlick and the team at the Chester Grosvenor is always another highlight of our annual dinners. It was also heart-warming to meet so many past Academicians at this event in particular who all took the time to introduce themselves. Again the Champagnes on the night match the food perfectly and having had a new Head Chef take the reins for the first time the celebration within the team of the kitchen was evident.
This years Irish Dinner was another sell out in the Merrion Hotel in Dublin. The tasting of the 16 Houses had Academicians pouring which was absolutely brilliant as it allowed the time to speak to each of them and also about their experiences of the Academy. To see the support of the Academy in Ireland was brilliant and is something we should try and bring closer to what we do on yearly basis. Sitting beside Peter the GM of the Merrion, who is also an Academician, was a superb insight into the growth and interest in Academy. The food as always was amazing and the matching to the Champagnes on the night was perfect. Mal has done a great job with these dinners and has managed to find a balance of relaxed but yet still theatrical events.
February of 2023 saw the Alternative Cuvee tasting on Bateaux at London Embankment. At this I was finally able to hand the Chairmans chain to probably the most patient and dedicated Vice Chairman in the history of the Academy, Paul Walker. The Alternative Cuvee tasting to me is one of the most enjoyable events of the year as it is relaxed and casual in its approach. The main aim is to showcase a Champagne we may never have tried before but it is also a chance to speak to a Shipper who is as much a part of what we do as anyone else.
As it’s finally my farewell I would like to give a huge thanks to everyone on the Committee as they really have supported me through the last 3 years and worked towards our shared vision of reaffirming our position within the Champagne world. Every single member has given their time and expertise to help make the Academy relevant and I look forward to working with them over the coming years as part of the Committee. I would also like to single out Val who managed not to shout at me too much and I appreciate her support as we know it has been very different than what has come before. Paul Walker has been a huge help again and has probably had more to do than any other Vice Chair in our past. Our decision that we would work towards a shared vision has worked very well and he has been a massive support to everyone on the Committee and has led the development of our digital redesign. I wish him well in his year as Chairman. I congratulate Nick Bromhead on becoming Vice Chairman and Craig Bonner on becoming Secretary for 2023. All members deserve a personal thank you which I will do in person as they are each owed hugely for what they have contributed.
All the Houses and Shippers have my deepest gratitude for their help and support throughout my time in office. Their encouragement and enthusiasm was a great strength when dealing with lockdown. Support from Taittinger as Presidential House has been unwavering and I thank Kevin McKee for taking so many phone calls and helping me steer our way through Covid and Champagne Shortages along with everything else. Clovis, Rachel and Sophie in France have been very hands on with everything we have tackled over the last 3 years and I pass on my sincere thanks. I look forward to sharing a glass with you all at a future event.
I look forward to seeing you all at one of our events and I thank you all for your support!
2022 Course Final Exam
2022 HARVEST REPORT
After a rainy and somewhat challenging viticultural year in 2021, we were delighted to have beautiful weather in 2022, bringing with it healthy, mature grapes and a wonderful ‘solar’ vintage!
The summer of 2022 will be remembered for its harsh heatwaves and severe droughts over Europe, but luckily the vineyards of Champagne managed to escape the adverse effects of these conditions. Chalk certainly played its role in retaining and distributing moisture to the roots in the particularly dry months of July and August.
Much to everyone’s relief after an industry-wide Champagne shortage, 2022 proved to be a plentiful year with healthy yields. For Champagne Bollinger, it was the most generous year since 2009! This was, in part, due to the low yields of 2021 as the vines were able to put reserves into the wood and roots. 2022 was also an exceptionally disease-free year.
2022 was only the sixth harvest in the past twenty years that started in August. Harvest began on the 26th of August, with all villages in the Marne region reaching ripeness at the same time. The harvest period was sunny, with the warmest ever recorded temperatures (averaging 20°C/ 68°F). According to the CIVC, the recorded time from floraison to picking was 85 days.
The grapes had excellent ripeness (we aim for 10.5% alcohol content across the three grape varieties) and were perfectly balanced in acidity. This is the case for all 3 grape varieties: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier. If we were to compare 2022 to a past vintage, based on the level of maturation and balance of acidity, this would most likely compare to 1959.
The team look forward to seeing the results after tasting the vins clairs, but all the contributing factors are there to potentially create a La Grande Année vintage. La Grande Année vintages are only created in the most exceptional of years and we hope that 2022 will join the club.
2022: while we all breathed a sigh of relief at a year that seemingly would not have any lockdowns, the political and economic landscape still had more in store for us.
As the on trade desperately tried to recover from its rough time during Covid, cost of energy and the ability to hire staff forced many into closure or reduced service times. The Pound dropped to the lowest it has been since our last recession and wage growth remained nearly 5% lower than inflation.
As ever, Champagne Taittinger attempted to navigate this landscape with empathy while bringing a spirit of optimism. We continued to work closely with our loyal customers to make sure they were as well equipped for the storm as they could be. We had our bi-annual ‘export conference’ where all the distributors for Taittinger from around the world convened in Reims to share experiences, ideas and align to the House’s plans and visions for the coming years.
In spring we launched Comtes de Champagne Rosé 2009 – a beautiful vintage but not an easy one to launch thanks to its miniscule volumes. In November we launched Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2012 with a party befitting of such a wine. Hosted by our good friends at BAFTA in their fabulously refurbished headquarters in Piccadilly, it was a joy to have all our friends and partners in a room together.
We were very happy to celebrate our partnerships in full again: the BAFTA campaign was back with a vengeance, beginning with the film awards in February and ending with the Scotland awards in November. Across our many beloved partnerships we celebrated the arts, sports and, for the first time, dogs with the inaugural Goodwoof festival at the Goodwood estate. We were also particularly happy to see our theatre partners up and running at full capacity again after arguably being hit the hardest by the previous few years.
2022 also delighted us with its harvest: both plentiful and of beautiful quality. We were also thrilled to welcome so many guests to our home in Reims; the desire to travel was back in full force and we loved showing our home to more friends, customers and press than ever.
Looking forward, the only thing we can be certain about is our uncertainty. It is safe to say that none of us know what to expect from this year: will volume demands remain high or will we finally see the effects of the cost of living crisis?
No matter what happens, we look forward to working closer than ever with our partners, with an energy and a thirst to drive forward.
As our cellars are now closed in Reims for refurbishment, we have a brand new offering at our Historic building Le Demeure des Comtes in the centre of town. Why not keep an eye on our blog – theinstantwhen.taittinger.fr to see what we get up to?
With the difficulties of 2020 and 2021 now behind us, Champagne Pol Roger was delighted to enjoy a full year of activities, tastings and relative normality in 2022. The year began with the energetic releases of the Brut Vintage 2015 and Rosé 2015 in early Spring. These were followed by a launch event where Hubert de Billy, 5th generation family owner, announced the release of the Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 2013. Later in the year, the Blanc de Blancs 2015 was also launched to great acclaim by the trade and consumer.
With the spectre of the pandemic having faded away, 2022 offered a full calendar of events. Champagne Pol Roger was able to host the 69th Oxbridge Varsity Blind Wine Tasting, as well as a duo of competitive blind wine tastings for Business School Alumni, and the Brewers’ Livery Company in the Summer.
The Maison also sponsored the London Masterpiece Art Fair, one of the world’s leading multi-disciplinary art fairs. In the realm of sports, the Barbarian FC were back in action against New Zealand, as well as a historic match against Bath Rugby, the fifth game since 1894, where both Pol Roger-sponsored teams battled it out for a Magnum of Brut Reserve. The Real Tennis World Championships and Bathurst Real Tennis Cup Competition returned to the UK after a two- and four-year absence respectively, both of which also benefiting from Pol Roger sponsorship.
Lastly, the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials were back for the first time since 2019 and, coupled with Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, rounded off a busy Summer of activities.
The demand for Pol Roger – through the entire range – continued to astound. Whilst the 2022 vintage in Champagne was significant (both in terms of the quality and volume), Pol Roger are still working to make up the shortfalls from the 2020 and 2021 vintages, in the context of strong demand internationally.
Looking ahead to 2023, Champagne Pol Roger is excited to host the 70th Oxbridge Varsity Blind Wine Tasting Competition in March. Pol Roger have hosted the competition since the early 1990s and are immensely proud to help increase its profile. The Maison will also be sponsoring the Badminton Horse Trials and the Royal Windsor Horse Show, further cementing its support of equestrianism.
The 2022 harvest was one which required rather more foresight than perhaps in previous vintages. From a technical standpoint, potential degree across all the varieties was 10.7% ABV, with total acidity at 5.3g/L and a pH of 3.16. However, after the varying challenges of the 2020 and 2021 harvests, it was the reserve that was at the forefront of the vignerons’ minds. The exceptional quality and quantity of grapes in 2022 was such that the yields were eased to 12,000kg/ha (as compared to 10,000kg/ha in 2021 and the restrictions of 8,000kg/ha in 2020). A welcome relief for all.
Brand Information Overview
Originally founded in 1812, family-owned Champagne Laurent-Perrier has been defined by its pioneering role in innovating champagne throughout its history. Internationally recognised as one of the foremost names in champagne, its success can be attributed to a deliberate policy of challenging conventional techniques, whilst honouring traditional values. The Laurent-Perrier portfolio consists of eight champagnes from the prestigious Grand Siècle, to the iconic Cuvée Rosé and the latest addition to the range the Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature which was launched in 2019.
Laurent-Perrier’s success must also be attributed to the energy of the de Nonancourt family, in particular the late Bernard de Nonancourt, who assumed control in 1948. Working in a demanding business environment, Bernard preserved the independence of his champagne house and its related values, taking the house from one of hundreds to its current position as one of the region’s leading houses. These same principles guide the current management team led by his two daughters, Stéphanie Meneux de Nonancourt and Alexandra Pereyre de Nonancourt.
Laurent-Perrier is committed to ceasing all practices or actions which may irremediably damage the environment. This pledge is translated and put into action in all activities, showing a continual respect for the environment and natural resources. The House’s long-term policy in grape growing and wine elaboration is based on sustainable methods.
Commercially 2022 continued to see stock shortages and high demand, as consumers continued to treat themselves to our champagnes at home while also enjoying them in the on trade. Sales of our prestige cuvee Grand Siècle were particularly strong as we built awareness through the trade. As a result our champagnes remained on allocation all year. The good news is that the 2022 harvest was both high quality and high volume, but given the long aging our champagnes require, we expect stock shortages to persist for some years.
After covid restrictions were lifted in early 2022, Laurent-Perrier focused on re-establishing its trading relationships with the on trade including profiling restaurants and hotels across the country serving Laurent-Perrier through a menu promotion in partnership with the FT. We also reconnected with our loyal customers at Taste of London in Regents Park where we delivered the launch of the Personalised Butterfly Tin, which underlined Laurent-Perrier’s sustainability values and was well received at Selfridges and across the UK press in the Summer. For the festive months, we launched the latest iteration of the Cuvée Rosé robe, The Bamboo Robe, via a private event at the Royal Albert Hall and achieved highly impactful press coverage including British Vogue.
In 2022 Champagne Laurent-Perrier announced the release of Grand Siècle Iteration No. 25 in bottle, based on the assemblage of three complementary vintage years: 2008, 2007, and 2006. This is the most recent iteration of this rare and unique prestige cuvée which uses the art of assemblage to recreate ‘the perfect year’. To launch the newest iteration, Lucie Pereyre de Nonancourt hosted high profile journalists at Michelin-starred restaurant Elystan Street in London. Our media guests discovered the vision behind the wine and its unique characteristics.
In October, London-based fine wine merchant Jeroboams created the first ever Grand Siècle immersive tasting room where private clients were invited to taste a limited-edition collection of Laurent- Perrier Grand Siècle Iterations: No. 22, No. 23 (in magnum), No. 24 and the latest release, Iteration No. 25.
2022 was the second of two extraordinary years in terms of shipments of Champagne Lanson to the United Kingdom. We experienced the continuation of healthy sales through our retail partners and an amazing bounce back by our hospitality customers, especially in Central London.
After a two year hiatus, 2022 saw the long awaited return of Chesterton’s Polo in the Park at Hurlingham. It was the perfect setting to Launch our Lanson Le Rosé Fruit Market Limited Edition. A beautiful, elegant activation of our Rosé Champagne with inspiration drawn from our love for sharing and campaign inspired from the cuvées flavour profile.
The 135th Championships, Wimbledon returned to full tournament capacity and saw record consumption as many returned to the grounds having not been able to enjoy live tennis in SW19 since 2019. We entertained over 200 celebrity and trade guests in our No.1 Court suite, where we launched our Le Vintage 2012 to our global customer base.
September saw the release of Maison Lanson’s prestige cuvée, Noble Champagne. Noble Champagne is offered in two expressions, Brut and Blanc de Blancs from vintage 2004. Previous, current and forward vintages were matched with a canapé menu curated by Lanson’s Chef Ambassador Ollie Dabbous, Head Chef at Michelin Starred restaurant HIDE.
The 2022 harvest was “out-of-the-ordinary” because the conditions were so optimal: wonderful yields (around 14,000 kg/Ha), irreproachable grape healthiness and ideal ripening conditions. At Lanson, we started in the Montgueux crus from 20th August and the 29th August for all other crus. Something rather rare to touch upon is the major increase in the degree of maturity during the harvest. 2022 enables us to put 2021 behind us, a challenging and painful year during which growers put everything they had into the vines for months, only to deal with the challenges experienced throughout the season (frost, hail, mildew). By looking back into the Maison Lanson archives, two vintages experienced similar maturity to 2022; those of 1976 and 1959.
In 2023 we are looking forward to Le Black Creation 257 replacing our flagship cuvée Le Black Label. In September we will move on from 2012 to 2013 Le Vintage whilst also releasing our Noble Champagne 2005.
Finally life as we remembered it had returned; hugs and handshakes once again replaced elbow bumps and the trade could return to what they do best, engaging each other and consumers with the personal experience of champagne.
It was, once again, a busy year for Champagne Louis Roederer, following the philosophy Frédéric Rouzaud, the seventh generation owner that ‘if you are not in perpetual motion, each stagnation has an impact that is magnified over time’. As such, 2022 saw the launch of the sublime Cristal 2014, succinctly summed up by Joanna Simon as “Magnificent. Exhilarating”. This was followed by the second release of the Coteaux Champenois ‘Cuvée Camille’ 2019, the two single vineyard expressions of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as the new iteration of the Collection multi-vintage, 243 which was revealed at the Maison Marques et Domaines Icon Tasting.
Adding yet a new dimension to the Roederer portfolio, Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon came to London to present a special project he has been working on since arriving at the Maison in 1989, the late release vintage series. This is a selection of vintages from the 1990s showcasing the Pinot Noir from Roederer’s historic vineyards in the Grand Cru of Verzy. This was a carefully curated selection of 1990, 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1999 in bottle and magnum. Tiny volumes were kept back, and deliberately bottled at a lower dosage, the idea was to showcase extensive post-disgorgement aging, to put the focus on the wine rather than the bubbles and to show its huge gastronomic potential. It is undoubtedly as much a project of passion as it is of intellectual exploration and hedonistic pleasure.
Roederer were humbled to again receive the Most Admired Champagne Brand in the World from Drinks International, Giles Fallowfield noted that “Louis Roederer …[has won] …the past three surveys on the trot, an accolade no other brand has ever achieved. This is no accident, it is the result of a lot of hard work’. Roederer were also honoured to win the inaugural Golden Vines Gucci Award for Sustainability in recognition of their exceptional commitment to sustainable viticulture.
Another first for Louis Roederer was the creation of the Louis Roederer Photography Prize for Sustainability, a prize aimed at upholding two key tenets of the Roederer philosophy; encouraging a focus on sustainability in all walks of life, and in supporting the arts, particularly photography. The theme was ‘terroir’ with a brief to explore the impact of man on nature. At an awards night in London, the winner, Akosua Vikoria Adu-Sanvah, selected by a internationally renowned panel of judges who are amongst the most eminent names in art curation, collection and photography. Her work showcased the impact of the acidification of the oceans. The prize money she used towards a second trip to Cape Horn with a team of Chilean oceanographers to continue her work in raising awareness of this issue.
Roederer continued their long-standing sponsorship of the Spirit of Summer and the Spirit of Christmas, which despite the challenges of covid and rail strikes saw the Roederer champagne bars buzzing with action. Our sponsorship of the Royal Academy of Arts continued as it saw a returned to a full programme of exhibitions as well as the important Schools Auction, raising money for this historic charity that has seen so many famous artists hone their craft.
For a third year Roederer sponsored the Louis Roederer BAME Educational Bursary in collaboration with BAME Wine Professionals. It was with delight that we saw last year’s winner, Jonathan Vardan achieve distinction in WSET level 2 and go on to win a place on the level 3 course this year. He was joined by Aasha Prajapat and Glenn Saxon winning a place on the level 3 course. We wish them all the best of luck in this exciting step forward in their wine journey.
And so it is with excitement that Champagne Louis Roederer look forward to another year of adventure, innovation, friendship and delicious champagne.
CORDON ROUGE STELLAR & LA TABLE DESS CHEFS
GH MUMM CORDON ROUGE STELLAR:
This year GH Mumm reached for the stars! The Reims-based Maison launched Mumm Cordon Rouge Stellar (a blend of Mumm Cordon Rouge made with grapes from the 2016 harvest, which includes a majority of Pinot Noir), the first wine to be enjoyed in the space. To make this reality, Mumm collaborated with a key international space player, Axiom Space, founded by the American NASA astronauts. Mumm Cordon Rouge Stellar is compliant with the AOC Champagne specifications as well as space requirements.
The ultimate goal is for this champagne to participate in the pursuit of space exploration. Space travellers will be able to enjoy a product that comes from Earth’s soil as well as the savoir-faire of humankind, a symbol of our culture. Champagne allows us to recreate an emblematic ritual of celebration and conviviality that brings us together.
Jean-François Clervoy from European Space Agency (ESA) said of Mumm Cordon Rouge Stellar: “In space, there is a loss of temporal reference points and terrestrial habits. For both balance and well-being, it is essential to maintain a link with Earth and its culture. As a terrestrial symbol of the art of living, champagne has this universal appeal.”
Mumm Cordon Rouge Stellar will be present on the Ax-2 flight this spring.
GH MUMM, LA TABLE DES CHEFS:
This Spring GH Mumm is celebrating the opening of Maison Mumm’s public restaurant at the redesigned Maison Cordon Rouge in Reims with a genuine Chef’s residency experience. This will be a creative space for emerging talents in gastronomy with each resident Chef bringing in a new vision on food & champagne pairings.
Moët & Chandon 2022 review
For almost 280 years, Moët & Chandon has been the champagne of choice for celebration, and 2022 was certainly no exception. With the easing of Covid restrictions, 2022 was a year filled with spreading the magic of champagne nationwide. From opening the world’s very first Moët & Chandon bar, and celebrating the Platinum Jubilee, to Royal Ascot and the British Fashion Awards, Moët & Chandon shared it’s generosity of spirit and unique savoir-faire with fans across the country
2022 marked a milestone moment in Great Britain’s history, with the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth. Having long been associated with the Royal Court, Moët & Chandon was proud to release two limited-edition Impérial and Rosé Impérial Platinum Jubilee Cuvées. Featuring elegant platinum labels, inscribed with a commemorative message, the Moët & Chandon Jubilee Cuvées were served at Jubilee celebrations throughout the country – a fitting tribute to such a landmark event.
Continuing its Royal associations, Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage was, once again, the Official Champagne of Royal Ascot. With six bars across the racecourse, serving Moët & Chandon Impérial, Rosé Impérial and Grand Vintage, it was the ultimate start to the summer season and highlight of the British cultural calendar. Guests were hosted in the newly-refurbished Moët & Chandon box and iconic Veranda enclosure – both offering unparalleled views of the finish line.
From Ascot to Knightsbridge, Moët & Chandon welcomed Harrods shoppers with the launch of the world’s very first Moët & Chandon bar. Featuring a sleek, sculpted bar design, and dramatic effervescence-inspired chandelier, it is the largest stand-alone champagne bar in the world. With the official opening marked by friends of the Moët Maison - Douglas Booth, Laura Carmichael, Gemma Chan, Jourdan Dunn and Raven Smith – the bar quickly became a hotspot to enjoy champagne and perfectly paired bites throughout the summer.
2022 also marked an exciting stage in Moët & Chandon’s sustainability journey, which saw it removing gift boxes across its largest sales channels. These were replaced with neck tags made from seeded wildflower paper, which enabled shoppers to learn more about the initiative before planting the tag. In partnership with SUGi, the savings from the gift boxes have been used to plant pocket forests to promote biodiversity in urban areas. Several have already been planted, with more planned for 2023.
In December, Moët & Chandon honoured the long-standing relationship with fashion as the official partner of the British Fashion Awards. Alongside providing champagne for a star-studded guestlist at the Royal Albert Hall ceremony, Moët & Chandon hosted the Gold Studio. Presenter and influencer, Yomi Adegoke interviewed winners and guests to bring an exclusive backstage content.
Ending the year in style, Moët & Chandon brought the magic of effervescence to Londoners with Skate at Somerset House. A milestone moment in the festive calendar, the Skate Lounge by Moët & Chandon offered a stylish spot to begin festivities with a glass of Moët & Chandon or classic champagne cocktail.
In 2023, Moët & Chandon looks forward to another year of sharing its unique magic and savour-faire with champagne lovers around the world - stay up to date with our latest news through the links below:
Facebook - @MoetUK Twitter - @Moet_UK
Moët & Chandon
120TH ANEMONE ANNIVERSARY
2022 saw Maison Perrier-Jouët celebrating the 120th anniversary of the iconic anemones created by the Art-Noveau artist Emile Gallé back in 1902. This culminated in a gastronomic & artistic experience in Hotel de Crillon in Paris as well as sponsorship of the Art Fair Unique Designs Paris where Maison Perrier-Jouët unveiled the collaboration with the artist Garance Vallée. Garance created a LEB for Perrier-Jouët Blanc de Blancs. For Maison Perrier-Jouët, she shares her vision of one nature, in which all life forms are united in symbiosis, to the point of forming a single entity.
Behind every precious drop of Krug stands the dream of a visionary. One man who, long before others, understood that the essence of Champagne is pleasure. So, over 170 years ago, Joseph Krug broke with convention to follow his vision. To create the most generous expression of Champagne every year, regardless of climatic unpredictability. Joseph’s bold experiment proved a triumph and he succeeded in creating Champagne like never before. And like no other Champagne House since. To this day, the House of Krug lives and breathes his enduring philosophy, creating only prestige Champagnes since 1843.
Krug has remained a Champagne House on a human scale, preserving its savoir-faire and defending its unparalleled quality by choosing to offer a limited number of bottles. By overturning conventions and establishing its own rules, Krug divulges all the exuberance and expression of its Champagnes. Making Krug Champagnes arises from a long, painstaking and very human process; an art.
At the end of 2019 was the first encounter between the House of Krug and Ryuichi Sakamoto. After a creative journey of 18 months, they teamed up to create a series of musical experiences entitled SEEING SOUND, HEARING KRUG. A symphony that translates into music a unique proposition in Champagne, three creations from one single year, 2008: Krug Clos du Mesnil 2008, Krug 2008 and Krug Grande Cuvée 164ème Édition. Three stories, three sources of inspiration, three visions, three blends born in 2008 at the hands of Krug Cellar Master Julie CAVIL.
In 2008, the score was extraordinary, imparting exceptional elegance on the fruit. The gentle conditions of the season, which coincided with one of the coolest years in the last decade, allowed the grapes to develop slowly and tranquilly, with no stress on the vines. Thus, when time came to harvest, the grapes were remarkable. ‘Suite for Krug in 2008’ is a chance to discover three expressions of an unforgettable year in Champagne from the House of Krug.
True to its refined maverick spirit, the House of Krug once again transcends reality through new music pairing experiences. With the firm conviction that music is a universal language that can trigger new sensations, KRUG naturally partnered with Ryuichi SAKAMOTO to create a unique music pairing experience through an unprecedented symphonic composition.
The House of Krug has long understood the influence of sound on taste perception. Building on the notion of food pairing and translating this idea into music, the House of Krug invites Krug Lovers to discover its Champagnes through music-pairings. To create the unique scores that will accentuate certain facets of each Champagne, the House of Krug has invited Ryuichi Sakamoto to translate his perceptions of their flavours and aromas into music.
In November 2022 the SEEING SOUND, HEARING KRUG experience became available in London. Featuring musical immersions that reproduce the full experience of a live orchestra, through 3D music technology. Guests enjoyed the immersive symphonic experience of ‘Suite for Krug in 2008’ through Devialet Phantom speakers and a mesmerising light design to elate their senses.
Ruinart 2022 review
The Contemporary & Conscious Jewel of Champagne since 1729.
Ruinart is the world’s first established Champagne House, founded in 1729. It is recognised as a Chardonnay specialist, with this grape harvested from vineyards in the Côte des Blancs and Montagne de Reims, at the heart of all the cuvées. Today, art, sustainability and art de vivre define the universe of Ruinart, together with a strength derived from three centuries of history.
Every year, since 2018, Ruinart has invited an international contemporary artist to share his or her vision of the champagne house. Maison Ruinart has entrusted its Carte Blanche 2022 to Jeppe Hein for a new artistic interpretation of its history and know-how. The Champagne House has always promoted art as a way to understand the world around us, connect with each other and heighten our awareness. Jeppe Hein reflects this commitment through an installation that awakens our senses and touches our hearts, while placing each of us at the centre of a delightful participatory experience. As a long-time patron of contemporary art, Ruinart currently supports over 36 art fairs worldwide, and since 2016 have been the official Champagne Partner of Frieze London, Frieze Masters and Frieze New York.
From the 12th – 15th October the Ruinart Lounge was live at Frieze London, where guests were invited to explore Jeppe Hein’s ‘Right Here, Right Now’ exhibition. For Jeppe Hein, making and tasting champagne – from the moment the grapes are harvested to the moment the wine sparkles in your mouth – is a total sensory experience. He translated the essence of this into an art installation to be experienced RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW. An installation that appeals to the five senses and summons the four elements – earth/soil, water/rain, air/wind and fire/sun – which are essential to champagne making.
Committed to preserving savoir-faire and supporting wine professionals, Ruinart was proud to launch the 2022 edition of the Ruinart Sommelier Challenge. Bringing together sommeliers from across the UK, the 2022 edition focused on understanding the impact of cork on champagne, in particular during the ageing process. Participants explored the physical properties of this porous yet extremely stable material and its influence on a wine’s oenological signature.
In 2022 Maison Ruinart presented a new vintage, Dom Ruinart 2010, a champagne made from 100% chardonnay grapes from exceptional terroir. In 2010, the Maison decided to replace crown caps with cork for Dom Ruinart, enabling us to age these precious bottles on lees for longer. It took more than a decade to reach its full potential. More than ten years of supervised rest in the depths of the Maison’s chalk quarry cellars in Reims. Dom Ruinart 2010 is the result of this precise work. It is the most accurate reflection of a particular year, but also a specific ageing process that revealed all its facets and subtleties. It required a leap of imagination and vision to recognise the characteristics of this future vintage in the vineyard.
Because in 2010, very little suggested that it would be a great year: a very cold winter, dry spring and early summer, rainy August and rot that arrived at the end of the ripening.
A WORD FROM THE PRESIDENTIAL HOUSE
Academicians and Friends,
Ladies and Gentlemen
Scrolling through the newspaper this morning it is difficult to comprehend why, as a species, we seem hell-bent on rushing headlong towards the afterlife with such speed & alacrity. Crisis after tragedy after manmade catastrophe are seemingly every day occurrences a nd one is to be forgiven for wondering where is the beauty & joy in life?
We must turn to the words of the long-departed Napoleon who supposedly remarked “In victory, you deserve Champagne; in defeat, you need it.”
We know the earth will continue to turn and we know the sun will rise tomorrow morning so let’s celebrate with the indefatigable stoicism that is a part of the wonderment of humanity. Of course, as we all know, there is no better way to do this than with a glass of the finest Champagne !
The Academy stands as a beacon to the world of our supreme skills in turning the grape into a glass of sprightly vivacity, an exultation of rapture and a panacea to all woes. Long may it continue.
2021 threw challenges never before seen in Champagne and stretched us all to the limits but we survive & adapt as is our nature; we learn from history and move forwards.
We welcome with open arms our 16 candidates who have patiently waited to realise the goal of experiencing the best our 16 houses can offer and will use the week as a re-boot back to more usual protocols. It is only with the full support of all the other 15 houses and in particular our vice-Presidential houses of Champagne Ruinart & Champagne Bollinger that this is possible.
Again, we must give huge thanks to our Chairman, Andrew Fullerton, & all his team who have worked consistently to keep the Academy alive & active in the most trying of times. Their goal, as is ours, is to keep Champagne front & centre of the wine world in UK & Eire which is of course the primary function of the 16 Grand Marques represented.
A full programme of dinners & tastings await in 2022 and we hope once again to share & celebrate with you all.
Until then our warmest regards & best wishes
The Taittinger Family
Andrew presenting Ross Carter of the Drinks Trust with cheque for £25,000 raised from the various
dinners and Tastings in 2021/22
2020-2022 Chairman - Andrew Fullerton
CHAIRMAN’S REPORT 2021
Yes, I’m still here!!!! What a year 2021 has been. Having hoped we had light at the end of the tunnel we were suddenly forced to look for a new way of continuing with the Academy in 2021. We had some high hopes and many challenges but we stuck it out and managed to pull together to have 3 events towards the end of the year. I must thank every single Academician, Shipper and House for their support of the Academy.
Having initially confirmed the Course last June we were then forced to postpone it once again due to increased restrictions which would have meant a Course very different from before. For those of you who have attended the Course you will agree that robbing a candidate of the full experience would have been unforgivable.
Yet again the Committee have gone above and beyond with everything asked of them and their support to both the Academy and to me has been incredible and we could not have done this without our vice Chairman, Paul Walker. We have continued to develop our online presence via development of our website, social media interaction and of course our Newsletter. These initiatives will grow and strengthen as we go forward and will remain our key methods of communication for the Academy.
We had 3 amazing events that were very oversubscribed as the excitement of a return to normal came through. Initiating our return, we had our Annual Scottish Dinner in the Signet Library in Edinburgh. When we knew that we couldn’t have a full calendar of events due to the cancellation of the Course we agreed with the Houses to host something different from normal to allow us to return to event based activity. At each of the two dinners that we agreed upon running we used all 16 Houses with equal representation at both dinners. In Scotland we used the first 8 Houses for the predinner tasting and the second 8 Houses for the meal with the reverse carried out in the Midlands. The Scottish Dinner was an incredible event and was this year managed by Craig Bonner our new Scottish Dinner Organiser. The room was superbly set up with videos showing information of each of the Houses. A much more relaxed style of event but a lot of fun and a great success.
The Midlands Dinner followed a few weeks later and was held in Coombe Abbey. As always Kevin Skeet had a seamlessly organised event which brought together a superb group of Academicians, Shippers and guests who revelled in the menu and the different more relaxed format we held.
At the beginning of November the Vintage tasting took place in the Institute of Directors and was the first time we held the Vintage Tasting as a stand alone event. Having discussed this event within the Committee, Houses and Shippers it has been agreed that the Vintage Tasting will become our Halo event every year and deserves to be a stand alone so as to give it the prestige it deserves.
Our Course unfortunately did not happen in 2021 but with the support of the Houses we have decided to roll over everything into 2022 so Taittinger will still be the Presidential House and I will continue as Chairman (sorry!). This year the Course will happen between the 12th and 18th June and we have the majority of the original 16 Candidates attending this year. The support of our events to date by these Candidates and their commitment to the Academy so far has been extremely encouraging and they will make a great addition to our Alumni. This year we will have a full event calendar (details on our website).
We have a lot still to do in 2022 to continue to develop our communication, educational resources and engagement plans and we will continue to update you via our website and newsletter. We will continue our support of The Drinks Trust as our chosen charity and our partnership with Riedel who have also supported us this year through some educational work and promotional support. We aim to engage these partners along with some further guests to begin a Masterclass programme for our members at certain events to regain our position within Champagne Education in the UK & Ireland. Further information will be forwarded when dates and speakers are confirmed.
I would like to give a huge thanks to everyone on the Committee as they really have supported me through this year and worked towards our shared vision of reaffirming our position within the Champagne world. Every single member has given their time and expertise to help make the Academy relevant in this vastly different landscape and I look forward to working with them this year. I would also like to single out Val who has taken on this year’s challenge with gusto and we appreciate her support as we know it has been very
different than what has come before. Paul Walker has been a huge help again this year and has probably had more to do than any other Vice Chair in our past. Our decision that we would work towards a shared vision has worked very well and he has been a massive support to everyone on the Committee and has led the development of our digital redesign. I would also like to thank David Ramsey for his years of service as the Scottish Dinner Organiser as he has now decided to pass the baton to Craig Bonner. All members deserve a personal thank you which I will do in person.
We would love for all our members to have a say in the future of the Academy, to support our work going forward and to contribute where possible to the website and newsletter.
I look forward to seeing you all at one of our events and I thank you all for your support!
Some of the Committee taken at the Annual Dinner at the IOD
2021 HARVEST REPORT
The years roll by and no two are ever the same. 2021 will be the benchmark year for mildew for an entire generation. We all hold the same opinion: ‘we’ll not forget 2021!’ A wine-growing year that was historic, demanding, challenging and at times discouraging with the final analysis indicating quality for our harvest and optimism for our wines.
What a year for winegrowers in a northern climate! The permitted yield for the sector was set at 10,000 kg/hectare. Since the start of the wine-growing year, weather conditions have been against us. 2021 is also a benchmark year for frost, after 2003 and 1991. Between the frosts of early April and early May, champagne potential was drastically reduced by about 30%. In the Aube region, the Côte des Bar area was hit hard: 100% of the buds that came out froze; only the ones that came out later were spared. Harvest potential has fallen by over 60% on average.
In other terroirs, we recorded losses of 15% to 30% (Reims, Sézanne and Mailly, for example). The Côte des Blancs was spared by the skin of its teeth. From May onwards, rainfall levels were above yearly averages. A cold spell delayed growth which did not get going again until the start of June with the return of warm weather. With strong vegetative growth and the arrival of storms, downy mildew and powdery mildew pressure was high.
From May to July, we recorded the equivalent of five months of rain. This continual rain, which was torrential at times, meant that mildew was able to develop on the leaves and especially on the bunches of grapes. Champagne potential was once again slashed by 30% on average. Some growers and plots lost their crop. In our vineyard, frost-sensitive plots in the Montagne de Reims and Marne Valley, and biocontrol areas were particularly affected despite round-the-clock work from everyone to aerate the bunches, help humidity to evaporate, protect our vines and so on. Frost and mildew affect the quantity of the harvest but not the quality of the grapes which survived this disheartening summer. Everything will be done to ensure this year ends on a positive note.
Christelle Rinville - Vineyard Director – Champagne Taittinger
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