Hennessy, Cognac Makes Itself Festive for Christmas

The house which will celebrate its 255 years of existence in 2020 will introduce, once again, exceptional bottles for the end of year celebrations!

We can read the story of the Hennessy maison in its emblem – the family crest of its founder Richard Hennessy, now become a symbol of its savour faire. The legendary hatchet leave sits sign on the most desirable cognacs of the world. This savoir-faire goes way back, almost 255 years to be precise. Irish officer at the service of King Louis XV, Richard Hennessy discovered Charent and the city of Cognac all the while learning about trade. In 1765 he founded his own house which quickly conquered the palace of the French King’s court. A business yes but nonetheless a family one, Hennessy transmits itself from generation to generation. A rule that applies just as much to the founders as to the master blenders. 

Some hundred years later, in 1870, Maurice Hennessy begun another international reference for cognacs. With the XO designation (for eXtra Old), he put out into the world the finest cognacs in the galaxy. Initially reserved to family and friends, Hennessy X.O. is now accessible to all! And it is evidently this same Hennessy X.O. & Ice that the maison chose to put into the spotlight for the end of 2019. 

The maison revisited a frosted case that transforms into an ice bucket, a way to accompany the new ways of enjoying the drink – around ice! This is thanks to the Comité de Dégustation  of the Hennessy maison, who each morning at the same time in the heart of Cognac gets together in order to follow the gustative evolution and potential of cognacs. This time, it proposes three ways of experimenting with Hennessy X.O. With three ice cubes, one large ice cube or even five or six ice cubes, the goal stays the same: reveal it’s rich and complex aromas!

Another novelty intimately related to the history of the brand – In 1947, Gerald de Geoffrey de Chabrignac, Richard’s nephew, drew the now iconic Hennessy carafe. Its shape, inspired by an inverted grapevine with embossed vines running along the glass is a homage to the vines of Charente. The novelty continues when in 1979, the master blender Maurice Fillioux created “Hennessy Paradis”, a cognac assembling hundreds of exceptional brandies, the house begun a new chapter in its history. 

This is now captured in the new crystal carafe, a jewel of the collection – the Hennessy Paradis Imperial. Conceived by contemporary artist and designer Arik Levy, the new crystal carat brings about a delicate and audacious balance. It contains the Hennessy cognacs that have reached their points of elegance, the decisive and ephemeral moment where a brandy is deemed ready to enter the composition of a Hennessy Paradis Imperial assemblage. 

And since Hennessy holds luxury to be of primary value, it is at the heart of a specially created trunk by Louis Vuitton that the icon will nestle. The Hennessy Paradis Imperial trunk by Louis Vuitton celebrates thus the excellence of savoir-faire, the two maisons offering both a unique vision of the world. A vision largely inspired by refinement of taste and a joint affinity for the world of travel. A gustative journey that awaits you for the end of year festivities!

Bollinger: James Bond’s Champagne

With the launch of “La Grande Année 2008” and the celebration of 40 years of partnership with the James Bond movies, the end of the year will be an iconic one for Bollinger!

The refined and remarkable champagnes of the maison Bollinger have been brightening days, parties and celebrations since 1829! And when the exceptional harvest of 2008 is finally bottled, we can only imagine the impact of such a vintage. The 2008 harvest gave birth to a wine with infinite depth – a wine that with time has achieved the characteristic acidity of Bollinger. Bottled, this gives “La Grande Année 2008”. It took ten years to unravel the nobility of this unique vintage.

Aromas of citrus fruits, fleshed fruit, berries, spices, floral and mineral notes, longevity on the palate, structure and density make up the key gustative notes of these great Pinots Noirs d’Aÿ and Verzenay. The backbone of the Bollinger champagne. “The elaboration of each La Grande Année bottle requires patience and precision and is only possible thanks to the work of the men and women of the maison whose artisanal methods have been passed on from generation to generation” affirms cellar master Gilles Descôtes. 

Complex and harmonious, this exceptional champagne is the very image of a hero that makes it an icon – a certain James Bond. “It is with great pride that we celebrate the 40 years of partnership between Bollinger and James Bong, a homage to the friendship born in 1971 between my father, Christian Bizot, and the producer of James Bond, Cubby Broccoli” says Etienne Bizot, CEO of Bollinger. 

It is true that since the first appearance of the champagne in the film ‘Moonraker’ in 1979 that Bollinger has only continued to symbolise the chic audacity of Bond’s character. So, what better than to carve out two limited editions to celebrate the 40 year partnership? The first, a nod to the space themed universe of ‘Moonraker”, revisiting the spaceship created by the legendary set designer Ken Adam. In doing so, Bollinger invited designer Eric Berthès to create an object made of tin and plated with noble wood. It encloses thus a Saint Louis crystal bucket as well as a magnum of Bollinger 2007, the Bond Vintage par excellence! The pieces, worked and adjusted by hand, make each 407 numbered pieces a unique œuvre!

The second limited edition Champagne Bollinger and 07 anticipate the highly awaited release of the 25th opus of the ‘No Time To Die” series. The idea? To create a 2011 vintage dedicated to the universe of Bond. The bottle, entirely in black, carries the number 25 formed by the titles of the previous films. It is the first time that Bollinger created a vintage entirely from the 2011 harvest – a historical one coming exclusively from the Pinot Noir Grand crus from village d’Aÿ. Better yet, these champagnes as admirable as they are inspired are already available! Something with which to celebrate Christmas and the new year in a very Bond fashion, James Bond fashion!

Ruinart Champagnes and the Blancs de Blancs Icon Dress Up For Christmas

At the approach of the holiday season, Ruinart expressed it’s interest in art once again around two exceptional collaborations – the talent of Vik Muniz and that of Ron Arad accompany the most legendary of champagnes!

It is in 1729, at the highest of the Lumieres revolution that the Sillery vineyard, south-east of Reims, became that of the Ruinart maison. In 2018 it is the very same vineyard that the Brazilian artist Vik Muniz spent long hours finding inspiration. “My relationship to images is not quite related to the history of art but more to memory” describes the artist. Yes, for already in the 18th century the chefs de caves of the Ruinart house sourced in the materials, colours and spirit of time the original composition of their vintage. The Blanc de Blancs keeps these memories alive today. 

If Viz Muniz is the eighth artists to collaborate with Ruinart in the creation of an exceptional bottle, the history of Ruinart with artists goes back to 1896. Before Jaume Plans or Erwin Olaf, it is a certain Alphonse Mucha who was the first invited for a collaboration. Andre Ruinart, head of the maison, saw the artist’s posters bloom on the Morris columns. Imagined and even invented for Sarah Bernhardt, these posters where the first with her to begin the art of advertisements. Much conceives then an advertisement full of voluptuousness showing the cocottes of the Belle Epoque. Art Nouveau was throned in this way as Ruinart set in stone the most complete illustration of it’s savour faire. And what of it today? Ruinart and art glisten and sparkle, especially in the bubbles of the Blanc de Blancs!

The end of year celebrations have brought Ruinart to create two exceptional pieces – one of these is an exclusive bottle imagined by Via Muniz. The second consists of three tin champagne buckets by Ron Arad. As a homage to the art of assembly so unique to Champagne, the famous designer and architect imagined these buckets around a single joining link of leather. Forming in this way a large basin, the three nestle in a trunk made of oak coming from sustainably managed forests. Made in the purest of French traditions! Inside, the magnums Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs 2014, Dome Ruinart Rosé 1998 and Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs 1993. 

As for Vik Muniz, he reiterates his first inspiration stemming from the vine cuttings. This time expresses himself on a limited edition box set of which there are only 30 – this time hiding a Blanc de Blancs Jeroboam. Created using parts of darkened wood and charcoal, the figure extends its lines on the four faces of this imposing wooden box set. Going further in his concern for memory, Vik Muniz sought out to give this exceptional object a second life – becoming in itself a unique piece of furniture. Ruinart thus offers two artworks that are just as inspired as they are original and ready to be discovered!

(Re)Discovering Glenmorangie’s The Original

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Its powerful aroma is known by lovers of single malt whiskies. Glenmorangie’s The Original envelops the nose in a vanilla aroma before softening it with the scent of citrus and ripe peaches. This bouquet opens up even further when you add a touch of water – floral notes of geranium  uncover apricot, bergamot, mandarin, eucalyptus, and ginger. On the palate, vanilla embodies the whisky’s fruity, floral, and complex character. Crunchy notes of almond, coconut, and sweet spices sign off on its elegance. Then comes the finale: the whisky’s complete aroma distilled with touches of orange and peach.

The centennial creation of this whisky in the highest stills of Scotland is what guarantees the beverage’s distinction. That’s why the Glenmorangie distillery decided to celebrate its iconic whisky for the holidays. Glenmorangie The Original is being offered in an elegant and essential box set: a box set with bursts of orange that contains a bottle of The Original 70cl and two tumblers. It’s the ideal gift to (re)discover this whisky with a remarkably round, sweet, and completely fascinating character.

 

Château Mouton Rothschild 2015 by Gerhard Richter

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Château Mouton Rothschild is one of the most reputable domains in the Médoc region of France, named the “first grand cru” according to the official classification of Bordeaux wines. And a prestigious wine necessitates a prestigious label. In 1924, Baron Philippe de Rothschild wanted to mark the domain’s first bottling by calling on famed poster artist Jean Carlu to create the label. The idea wasn’t bad, but it wouldn’t be seen to fruition. It wasn’t until 20 years later in 1945 that Baron Philippe came back to his idea. This time, he crowned the vintage’s label with a V for victory, a V designed by young painter Philippe Julian. The tradition was born.

Every year, a renowned artist brings their touch to this unequivocally prestigious wine. Jean Hugo and Jean Cocteau, friends of the Baron, were among the first to be solicited. Later on, names like César, Braque, Dali, Miró, Chagall, Picasso, Warhol, Soulages, Bacon, Tapies, and more recently Jeff Koons would get involved. They all brought a personal work as the bottle’s signature. This year, Gerhard Richter is teaming up with the 2015 vintage. The result: an inspired and hypnotizing work of art. The painter has indeed long been known for a singular, complex, and accessible body of work.

A dialectic between painting and photography puts his art in a category that fluctuates between figurative art and abstraction. Celebrated for his photo-paintings with blurry backgrounds as well as his still-life paintings and portraits, the artist is today a master who sells his paintings for several million Euros. For the Mouton de Rothschild wine, Gerhard Richter created a label called “Flux”, illustrating a process that’s both random and carried out with certain virtuosity. It’s a mise en peinture of Mouton Rothschild 2015’s process of creation. The Château details the process thus: “The artist fixed colors in movement in a photo, captured at the ideal moment for their composition. In the same way, a harmonious assemblage gives a great wine, a true living material, its balance and fullness. He spread out enameled paint on a piece of plexiglass that he pressed a piece of glass onto, bringing out a number of surprising compositions. When the process was completed, he definitively attached the two pieces to one another.” That’s where this iconic label was born, with fluctuating and harmonious colors in equal measure.

Saint-Pierre d’Hautvillers Abbey, the Heart and Soul of Dom Pérignon

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It’s an exceptional location. Saint-Pierre d’Hautvillers Abbey has seen both powerful and meek, kings and priests, come through its door. In the beginning there was a dream. It was Saint Nivard, the fifth bishop of Reims and nephew of King Dagobert who had this dream. One day in the first century A.D., he was returning to Reims by way of Épernay – fatigued from his travels, he stopped in the land of Hautvillers where he nodded off against a tree. In his sleep, he saw a dove drawing circles around a beech tree. When he opened his eyes, he was surprised and frightened to see that the bird was still there, flying above the tree he had been sleeping under. There was no doubt about it: this was a divine invitation for the bishop to build a new abbey. And so he founded the d’Hautvillers Abbey and placed it under the auspices of Saint Benoit. The year was approximately 650. The abbey would prosper despite history’s vicissitudes. Destroyed by the Normands in 882, restored then burned by the English in 1449, rebuilt then razed by the Huguenots in 1564. “(…) Thanks to the gifts of Catherine de Médicis, it would reach a new height at the end of the 17th century before being torn down in 1793.”

Much later, when Pierre Pérignon took over the abbey in 1668, the monk took on the mission of creating “the best wine in the world”. He wanted to modernize the abbey, expanding its wine-making domain to bring adequate revenues to the community and help develop it. On his tombstone it can be read: “Here lies Dom Pérignon, cellarer in this monastery for forty-seven years. His administration of familial affairs afforded him the greatest of eulogies, recommendable by his virtues and full of paternal love for the poor.” This visionary spirit and his extraordinary audacity led him to reinvent everything, from the plantation to the vines, to the mixture and the creation process in between. It’s even said that he was the one who discovered champagne. Thanks to him, Saint-Pierre d’Hautvillers became the greatest wine-producing domain in the Champagne region.

Dom Pierre Pérignon knew well that the d’Hautvillers domain was able to transcend and elicit an inspired and inspiring experience. He understood that the reign of Louis XIV was distinguishable by its excellence and inventiveness. The Sun King brought together the most remarkable artisans and the most famous artists at his court – and he wanted to be part of it. Numerous were the men of power in the Church like Leon X, François 1st, or Charles Quint who appreciated the “tranquil wines of the Marne river”. Indeed, Dom Pérignon’s wine is special because it’s a millésime vintage, only created during certain exceptional harvest years. And this tradition continues today. Upon one’s arrival at Saint-Pierre d’Hautvillers, the monastery’s singular presence fascinates and awes. Here, something incredible was born. Something that forever changed the history of art de vivre – this is the sacred character of Saint=Pierre d’Hautvillers Abbey, standing watch for over a thousand years over Dom Pérignon champagne

The Belvedere Holiday Box Set by NeSpoon

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Like every year, Belvedere Vodka is introducing an exclusive box set decorated by a renowned artist. This time, Polish urban artist NeSpoon was entrusted with the creation of their icon. This artist has the same Polish origins and values as Belvedere – whether it comes to beautifying the urban landscape in unexpected or abandoned locations or adding her touch to a bottle of Belvedere, NeSpoon always taps into the same authenticity.

That’s how she imagined a box set that’s in harmony with Belvedere Vodka’s DNA. The bottle’s lighting is subtle and ground-breaking – beneath a refined and artsy glass globe, the vodka boasts an elegant collector’s coat. Its fine frosted silhouette, presented beneath a glass globe adorned with lace motifs and a birchwood base, is an homage to Poland’s forests. NeSpoon took this unexpected signature – lace in all its forms – from her country’s traditional folklore and the work of its artisans. This remarkable style characterizes the most exclusive series of the holiday season. This box set is available now exclusively at the Publicis Drugstore.

Even better, to those who want to imbue themselves even more in the Belvedere universe… The vodka is occupying the Table du Huit this season, a hidden terrace in Paris’ 8th arrondissement. With a chalet allure and bold style, the Belvedere Chalet d’Hiver is a unique place with a custom menu of seasonal cocktails created by mixologist Daniel Rodriguez. This winter is set for sweet and ravishing delights!

Ruinart’s New Artistic Collaboration with Jaume Plensa

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Ruinart has long shared its taste for artistic collaborations and was even a pioneer in the field. The world’s first champagne brand was indeed the first to innovate in the communications realm by calling on the talents of Czech artist Alphonse Mucha. The year was 1896, and this precursor to Art Nouveau left an impression with the ad he designed – a world first. The maison itself has a long history with art – Dom Thierry Ruinart became, which was rather rare for those days, a Master in Art in 1674 at the age of 17. Ever since, art from every civilization would enter the history of the Ruinart family and be passed down from generation to generation.

After Mucha, Georgia Russel, Piet Hein Eek, Maarten Baas, and Erwin Olaf, Ruinart has now chosen to bring attention to the work of Barcelona native Jaume Plensa. Ruinart has thus once more left a blank slate to “pay homage to the brand, the vintages, the history, the legacy, or the champagne cellars that are classified as World Heritage by UNESCO.”- this time through the imagination of Jaume Plensa. His art, recognizable for sculptures that play with the relationship between words, signs, and the body, takes on letters that are reduced down to their simple selves in order to forge new human silhouettes. For Ruinart, this artist made a sculpture that pays homage to the one that is at the origin of this brand’s spirit: Dom Thierry Ruinart.

Anchored in the ground like vines, this creature is composed of elements of universal language: signs and letters from eight different alphabets – from Arabic to Hindi, Greek and Latin, just like Dom Thierry Ruinart would have liked. By taking a polished stainless steel with satiny nuances as his primary material, the inset letters form a “human” sculpture that allows light to subtly filter through. At the base of the sculpture is engraved two dates: 1729 and 2016. They’re like a secret code, a cryptic message that echoes out to the founding of the Maison Ruinart. This new work by Jaume Plensa honors the brand’s iconic champagne Blanc de Blancs. That’s why Ruinart is accompanying the artwork with a 20-copy boxset that contains a magnum Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, a gem created by the Orfèvrerie d’Anjou workshops. Discover it now.

 

Ruinart and The Art: Key Dates

1895 : The link between art and Ruinart begins when Andre Ruinart asks the master of the Art Nouveau Alphonse Mucha to design an ad which will soon a symbol of the maison and of its bottles.

2000s : Ruinart recovers its deep link with art by sponsoring a wide range of art fairs and event around the world. There’s the Frieze New YorkThe Salon Art + Design New York, the Aipad New York, the Dallas Art Fair, the Expo Chicago, the Art Basel Miami.

2000s : In the same years Ruinart starts to sponsor some crucial artistic events and fairs in Europe too, such as Pad ParisArt ParisLa Biennale des antiquaries ParisAsia Now ParisParis PhotoFiac ParisMiArt MilanoArt BrusselsBrussels Gallery WeekendArtMonte-CarloFrieze Art Fair LondonPad London Art + DesignFrieze Masters LondonArt BaselArco MadridLa Biennale di VeneziaUnseen AmsterdamArtgenèveGallery Weekend Berlin.

2002 : Ruinart moves a step forward by starting a series of collaborations with young contemporary artists. The first one is The Kotoli gift box by Nendo. The Japanese design studio designs a brand new gift box for some Ruinart champagnes.

2006 : Artistic collaborations continue with the Champagne spoon by India Mahdavi for the Prestige Collection. The artist gives life to an elegant-artistic spoon intended to save the bubbles by being suspended in the neck of an open bottle of champagne.

2007 : Gideon Rubin starts a charming collaboration with Ruinart by painting a series of portraits dedicated to the founding fathers of Ruinart and to those who truly embody Ruinart’s spirit.

2008 : Marteen Baas creates the centre light sculpture named “Bouquet de Champagne” for a gala table dedicated to the unique line of champagnes Dom Ruinart Blanc 2002 and Dom Ruinart Rosé 1998 vintages.

2010s : As globalisation takes place and the world of art expands to new countries Ruinart starts promoting events also in exotic countries. That’s the case of Art DubaiArt Basel Hong KongKyotographie and Art Stage Singapore.

2010 : Designed for the Ruinart Blanc de Blancs cuvée, part of the 2010 edition of the Collection prestige Le fil d’Or by Patricia Urquiola, a muselet or wire cage, is the contemporary tribute of a talented, internationally renowned designer to a symbolic object in the world of champagne.

2012 : Hervé Van Der Straeten creates for Ruinart the «Miroir», a fully handcrafted silver plated ice bucket produced in limited edition.

2013 Piet Hein Eek designs for the Blanc de Blancs collection a full range of artistic wooden cases in pine adapted to each champagne bottle as in the long tradition started by Ruinart in 1769.

2014 : Georgia Russell creates for the Blanc de Blancs collection a series of sculpted boxes incised with notches as a tribute to the cellars of Ruinart.

2015 : Hubert Le Gall starts the artistic project “Glass Calendar”, 12 unique works of art in glass to pay tribute to Ruinart’s history and in particular to the Blanc de Blancs collection.

2016 : Erwin Olaf brings to conclusion his long project dedicated to photograph and portrait the Ruinart’s traditions, iconic places and rituals. Black and white is the key tone to give back the richness and the intensity of the art of making champagne. 

2017 : The Catalonian artist Juame Plensa signs a new limited edition of 20 signed Ruinart Blanc de Blancs boxes which are sculptures rather than simple boxes. These true pieces of art are made of stainless steel with satin shades.

Krug Rosé – The Boldness of Excellence

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Created in 1843 by Johann Joseph Krug, who first instilled this champagne with its dynamic, Krug quickly imposed itself as a leader in its field. Its participation in the 1900 Universal Exposition allowed it to position itself among the greatest Champagne manufacturers, not least of all because it won first prize. Sold to Rémy Martin in the 70s, it landed in LVMH’s lap in 1999, but still holds onto Krug’s telltale winemaking techniques. Draconian respect for the rules – even after 6 generations – allows them to create works of art. Indeed, Krug champagne was born from the desire to create a champagne with extraordinary and consistent taste, which didn’t exist at the time. To define Krug’s style, current director Olivier Krug affirms that he “calls to mind all the characteristics of a great wine, rich in flavors, it’s complex, it’s prolong, it’s profound”. And so, this champagne – a balance between the strength of a great wine and the beauty of a great champagne – naturally pairs itself with the most refined of cuisines.

Krug Rosé follows the same path as the renowned Krug Grande Cuvée, with the ever renewed ambition to transcend the notion of vintage. It rises to the challenge of being both delicate and subtle, all while offering an aromatic palette that’s unheard of in its depth. A demanding selection of different three-grape wines, taken from several harvests as well as a Pinot noir macerated while conserving the peels gives it a unique color and texture for a rosé champagne. This champagne’s excellence is due to its respect for the “pillars” defined by the brand. Take for example the very precise selection of grapes, or the particular winemaking process that uses small traditional oak barrels that allow for a mysterious exchange between the wine and oxygen. But it’s the combination of vineyards and vintage years that give Krug champagne the extra edge and allow it to avoid being confined to a specific vintage appellation or specialty, since its Grande Cuvée still isn’t dated.

Krug Rosé has inscribed itself in this savoir-faire that allows it to express its difference, its exceptionality. These qualities translate into fine and regular bubbles as well as an exceptional copper tone. Krug may not commercialize their champagnes until five years after the initial bottling, but this Rosé is ready for tasting, solo or accompanied by spicy dishes and desserts or festive meals Christmas holidays approaching slowly. There’s no doubt that the freshness, finesse, and character of this champagne will bring out legions of Krug Lovers – fans who practically worship the brand – and other lovers of champagne. And for those who may never have had the chance to taste a Krug champagne, the first glass could very well be a “Revelation”, to cite Olivier Krug himself, as its rich, elegant, and intense style never fails to leave an impression on its drinker.

Veuve Clicquot’s Grande Dame

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Grande Dame, a simple name that fits right in amongst the big wigs of Champagne, is the result of a combination of Veuve Clicquot’s 8 historic “grand crus”. This cuvée, dominated by Pinot Noir and balanced by a touch of Chardonnay, is lauded by all, connoisseurs and Champagne amateurs alike, for its finesse, the abundance of its bubbles, and its inimitable reach. This is how Veuve Clicquot, one of the oldest Champagne brands, continues, in concordance with its motto “one lone quality, the very first”, to distinguish itself through its Grande Dame cuvée with an immemorial savoir-faire characterized by decades of modernity, unparalleled quality, and guaranteed audacity. This cuvée, remarkably intense, presented in a purely sculpted bottle, sports the brand’s emblems: an anchor and a comet, still a prestigious symbol the world over that will always and forever incarnate the values that were near and dear to Madame Clicquot.

It was October 23, 1805, upon the death of her husband, that Barbe Nicole Clicquot née Ponsardin became the first female director of a champagne brand as well as one of the first business women of our time. With a new vision for how to manage the brand combined with an acute sense for business and a strong character, Madame Clicquot succeeded in multiplying production figures by seven, to offer the world the most famous champagne since the days of the Empire, which allowed the brand to nestle Grande Dame comfortably alongside the most prestigious names in champagne.

“The Queen of Reims”, wrote Mérimée, who took a keen interest in the methods of production of champagne and invented the “stirring table” that can still be seen today, celebrated by the eponymous brand, that perpetuates the souvenir of Nicole Barbe Ponsardin through the airy and refined Grande Dame cuvée. This Grande Dame cuvée, from one of Veuve Clicquot’s “Grand Cru” terroirs, is a champagne just like “la grande dame de Champagne”, a complex cuvée, renowned for its wondrous class, its inimitable style, and its legendary vintages.