In a globalized and highly competitive market, independent winemakers, cooperatives and small champagne houses must differentiate themselves. Regain for forgotten grape varieties, microparcel selections, confidential vintages, wine library, incredible prices, uncommon vinifications… everything is good to attract the consumer’s and markets’ attention.
A very competitive market
“In the face of ferocious rivalry from the Prosecco, Cava and other sparkling wines of the New World, small winemakers, cooperatives and family houses are pushing their inventiveness to float in the ocean of sparkling wines” according to the person in charge of the site Asse-groupe.com, a French specialist in the purchase and resale of Champagne. Even if it means exceeding the large luxury groups in their organization of the rareness of exceptional wines and, above all, in the setting of the resulting exceptional prices.
To succeed in this increasingly fierce market, Champagne brands must find good ideas to stand out and offer an increasingly original experience to its loyal customers and future new customers. A search for ever more singularity that appeals to collectors and investors in search of rare bottles.
Original initiatives to stand out
Proximity, even closeness and intimacy with the customer is also at the heart of Mumm’s new project. The Cordon Rouge brand offer an exemplary price/quality ratio. The website of the “Friends of the house of Mumm” offers four exceptional vintages (in cases of only 6), concocted by the exceptional cellar master Didier Mariotti, at a preferential rate (from 37 to 50€).
An intuition that Jean-Jacques Cattier, in Chigny-les-Roses, in the Montagne de Reims, had at the end of the 1980s. A meeting with a New York entrepreneur a few years later enabled him to launch his prestigious champagne brand, Armand de Brignac, which quickly went crazy in the United States. At the beginning, the price is set at more than 200€, rather cheeky for a totally unknown label. Bought by the rapper Jay-Z in 2014, it is now available in five vintages (from 250 to 800€) and has exceeded 100,000 sales in 2016. Better still, just to erase its bling-bling side, the brand is investing in haute gastronomy through a partnership with Arnaud Lallement, three-star chef of the Assiette champenoise, in a symphony of food and wine pairings*.
Claude Giraud, president of the Henri Giraud company, has opted for an original breeding process. Each of the 1000 bottles (not one more) of his sought-after cuvée Argonne, vinified in oak barrels from the famous Champagne forest, is numbered and capped with a staple, a traditional method not often used nowadays. And which also enables the cooperative Le Brun de Neuville, in the Sézannais region of France, to single out its Authentique cuvées (28€).
At Castelnau, another renowned cellar, they play on the ageing time on slats: six years minimum! Normally, this process takes three years for the brut wines without a year. A way to give time to time and to privilege the freshness of their product. The richness of their stocks of 228 million bottles is a major asset.
Our favorite Champagne
If we only had to choose one (and it was really a real test), here is the bottle we would buy in priority and that you could offer with your eyes closed.
Laurent-Perrier : “Grand Siècle”
A pioneer, the legendary house of Tours-sur-Marne was the first to blend three exceptional vintages in the same bottle. One year for the structure, another for the finesse and the last for the freshness. One of the best prestige vintages of the Champagne region.
Price : 125€
Website : Laurent-perrier.com