The holidays are almost here, a time to celebrate, share and uncork countless bottles of genuine French champagne. We love to enjoy champagne any time of the year, but during this time, it becomes the absolute protagonist of all events.
Champagne is the essence of joy, the elixir de rigueur that embodies luxury, seduction, sophistication and exclusivity. Its golden color, fine bubbles, vibrant flavor, intoxicating aroma, and its fruity complexity, knows no limits.
We would like to present to you a bit of information about the most prestigious champagnes from France to help you make your holiday selections that much easier. À votre santé!
MOET & CHANDON
The firm was established in 1743 in Epernay, in the heart of Champagne country. Two hundred and fifty farmers look after the winery’s 800 acres since a single hectare requires more than 750 hours of meticulous labor to create exceptional wines. Thanks to the prestige and quality of this iconic brand, the Champagne vineyard has its own designation of origin since 1927. It is characterized by a pale yellow and somewhat greenish color. It is one of the best-known and popular champagnes in the world. The French luxury conglomerate LVMH owns this iconic brand.
Veuve Clicquot has been the favorite champagne of the European nobility for centuries, since its 1772 debut in Reims. History tells us that Philippe Clicquot created the label before his son Francois Clicquot married Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin. Francois died, tragically, in 1805, and his widow (veuve in French), took over the reins of the company with outstanding expertise and talent. She is considered the definitive factor behind the reputation the company enjoys to these days. Since 1987, the Veuve Clicquot Company has been part of the Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, a major umbrella group of luxury brands.
G. H. Mumm has its vineyards in Cramant, one of the most exclusive areas in Côte des Blancs, Champagne. The company was established in 1875. The bottle label dates from the time when the vintage was reserved for friends of the house, and following protocol, it was delivered in person, accompanied by a business card neatly folded in one corner. G. H. Mumm is one of the best and finest champagnes in the world today and a leading product from the renown Pernod Ricard Group.
In 1776, the United Stares of America were born, and on the same year, in Reims, emerged a new champagne company that would, eventually, conquer the world, Louis Roederer. Two and a half centuries later, it is still one of the most prestigious family businesses in the planet. The most famous of Louis Roederer’s champagnes, Cristal, has a peculiar story. It became the favorite of Tsar Alexander II of Russia, who decreed that the bottles should be transparent to make sure they didn’t contain any sort of poison or explosive device. Today, Cristal remains the best selling product from the company.
Lanson was also established in Reims, in 1760, by François Delamotte, who was succeeded, in 1798, by his son Nicolas-Louis; Knight of the Order of Malta, hence the stylized Maltese Cross on the company’s logo. Since 1900, when Queen Victoria granted Victor Lanson the Royal Warrant, Lanson has continuously been the official supplier of the British Royal Family, developing a strong bond with Britain. The predominance of pinot noir grapes together and the absence of malolactic fermentation in their cuvées, give this bubbly a unique style: strong, fresh and with a fruity character.
In 1812, Alphonse Pierlot, a former cooper and bottler took residence in Tours-sur-Marne and launched his first champagne production. The master Eugène Laurent, member of the third generation of a family of winemakers joined the business and took the helm of the vineyard with his wife, Mathilde-Emilie Perrier. Upon Eugène’s death, in 1887, his widow Mathilde assumed control of property and added her maiden name to her husband’s in the company title. This is the origin of brand Veuve Laurent-Perrier & Cie. Mathilde managed to introduce her products in Britain with astounding success, which lasts to this day. The Laurent-Perrier Champagne is fine, elegant and highly palatable.
Since 1785, the history of Piper-Heidsieck has been characterized by extravagance, glamour and boldness. This champagne was sponsored by the last queen of France, Marie Antoinette, adorned by Fabergé and enjoyed by Marilyn Monroe, who 0nce said: “I go to bed with a few drops of a very famous perfume and I wake up with a glass of Piper-Heidsieck“. Charles Heidsieck, an elegant snob, established this prestigious house.
Created in 1836 by Narcisse Greno, the company was overtaken, some years later, by the Pommery family. In 1874, they launched their famous Brut Nature, which continues to be the brand’s star product. The Pommery estate is located in the center of the city of Reims, around a beautiful Elizabethan manor house that reveals the fascinating rituals of the champagne world. Pommery is synonymous with quality and commitment. Its champagne has fine bubbles and aromas of citrus and apple with very pleasant sour notes. It is a pleasure for all the senses. ■