(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.

The New Hennessy and JonOne Limited Edition

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Hennessy decided to take the aesthetics for its new limited edition from the great street artist JoneOne. After Scott Campbell, Shepard Fairey, Os Gemeos, Ryan McGinness, and more recently Futura, JoneOne, the self-taught graffiti artist, was entrusted with creating the limited edition Hennessy Very Special 2017. From his first visit to Hennessy’s historic headquarters in Cognac, JoneOne’s creative vision immediately synced with this atmosphere and the next story to be told. Available since September, this year’s Hennessy is meant to be enjoyed pure.

Master-Assembler Yann Fillioux first presented JoneOne with the complexity of cognac. “During my meeting with Mr. Fillioux, I really felt his passion and his involvement,” explained the artist. “Having discovered people as excited for their field as in Hennessy has gone into my creative process. For them and for me, this isn’t just a job.” “Like Hennessy, he’s always on a quest for excellence,” explains Bernard Peillon, President of Hennessy. To compose Very Special’s bottle, JoneOne decided to unite with the energy that defines his style. With splash after splash, bright traces of color mix together with symbols unique to Hennessy.

His work echoes out to complex superpositions of notes and aromas composed by the master-assembler. The dressing for the Hennessy Very Special 2017 limited edition is a transcription of the sensations experienced when tasting it. Until November, an exhibit will allow viewers to go backstage and see the creative process behind this limited edition Hennessy Very Special. The exhibit will also reveal the superposition principles and techniques of graffiti artist JoneOne. Check it out now in Cognac, France.

Rémy Martin Louis XIII: an Amber Robe of Golden Prestige

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Born at the heart of Grande Champagne, the Louis XIII cuvée produced by Rémy Cointreau and stamped off by Rémy Martin is the most prestigious 700ml of cognac of them all. No less than 1200 spirits, aged between 40 and 100 years, as well as a century of savoir-faire are needed to create it. Only the best elements are kept during a dramatic selection that is proudly hailed by the domain’s maître de chai: “We only select Grande Champagne spirits that were primed, that have a maximum quality bonus of 10%.” The aging is done according to the purest of tradition, in tierces contained with centennial Limousin oak barrels that allow the spirits to respirate. This process allows Louis XIII’s robe to take on an intense amber note, characteristic of the intensity of its flavors. The crystal bottle that contains this exceptional cognac also comes from a rare savoir-faire. Its conception results from the synchronized blowing of glass artisans, alternating the fashioning of the crystal with their mouths to offer a choice case for this illustrious cuvée.

Five generations succeeded one another in the annals of this centaur insignia brand; all the while, the Grande Champagne countryside has shone for a century through Louis XIII cognac. This majestic cuvée what with its famed crystal bottle takes its name from the sovereign who, despite a ban in 1738, accorded an unparalleled exemption to Rémy Martin to plant new grapevines. This exemption was due to the excellence of the cognacs produced in the domain. Louis XIII cognac, created in 1874, is an homage to this gesture. The carafe also bears witness to this patrimony, inspired as it is by a flask that was found on the site of the Battle of Jarnac that took place in 1569. The container, today almost as iconic as what it contains, adds a unique flavor that is instantly detectable by the beholder of this liquor. 

Nothing could be more natural, for a vine culture that dates back almost 300 years as well as one of the most prestigious cognacs, than undergoing a few menu changes for prestigious occasions. Back in 2007, Louis XIII teamed up with Baccarat to give birth to the Louis XIII Black Pearl. With 786 numbered carafes, made from a crystal with black reflections, a black fit for a queen’s pearls, the Louis XIII Black Pearl was an exclusive edition that was even more attached to the history of kings and queens. The year 2012 was a year of discovery; a differently-aged cognac allowed Pierrette Trichet, the former maître de chai for the brand, and her adjoint to bring us the Rare Cask 43.8. Rare Cask 43.8 was named thus because of its alcohol content of 43.8 degrees, that for Pierrette Trichet “attained the point of equilibrium between alcohol content and the flavors, there was a perfect harmony.” As the vice president of a Montréal restaurant confided: “We bought it for the prestige.” The elusive nature of Louis XIII reenforces its exceptional aspects; the centennial tierce barrels have yet to reveal the entirety of their secrets. In the fall of 2009, Pierre Trichet exalted: “During a tasting, I felt the same emotion, a revelation that I had a memory of, I realized that I’d perhaps discovered a second rare Cask.” Distinguishing itself once more with its alcohol content above the usual 40%, the Rare Cask 42.6, a true diamond in the rough, presented in its carafe that mixes black crystal and rose gold, is the confirmation that in the Rémy Martin domain, the mysteries of Louis XIII remain impenetrable. Through the ages, Louis XIII cognac, just like the golden fleurs de lys of old, continues to offer exceptional moments, to the fascination of au courant consumers everywhere.

Krug Grande Cuvée 2004, the Ultimate Opus

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2004 was a year of patience – a cold winter and a vibrant spring gave France’s Champagne region low temperatures for longer than usual. When May finally arrived, a soft warmth took over at Krug. Their grapes were able to ripen in ideal conditions beneath a radiant sun – 2004 was indeed a special year. The abundant grape harvests were ideal, with the grapes benefitting from a more pronounced character than any other year. Nature, in all its randomness, gave the world an exceptional wine – and today, Krug Grande Cuvée 2004 is finally available.

Created every year since the brand’s founding in 1843, Krug Grande Cuvée is the symbol of Krug’s passion for excellence. Eric Lebel, Krug’s chef de caves, is an eyewitness to the majesty of 2004: “That year’s wines are expressive, luminous, and have an undeniable elegance all at once. The vivacity, liveliness, and citrus notes of the champagne grapes as well as the bright burst of the chardonnays combine with the solid structure of pinots noirs to form a very balanced palette.” Krug is indeed unequalled when its comes to respecting a vineyard’s personality – the individuality of each plot, each of vine, comes from an identification made by Eric Lebel. In 2004, the virtuoso gave life to an elegant composition where bright chardonnays (39%) and solid pinots noirs (37%) enjoy the citrus notes of the champagne grapes (24%).

But Krug’s 2004 bouquet reveals even more powerful notes, evoking the tartness of lemon meringue, plums, and mirabelle plums. In the mouth, light notes of brioche and honey give way to an array of fresh citruses perfected by an elegant finale. “With its freshness, its brilliance, and its citrus notes, Krug 2004 pairs marvelously with sea urchins, a salmon tartare, or caviar,” highlights Eric Lebel. “It would also go very well with a cod with olive oil and lemon sauce, a sole meunière, or Thai dishes with ginger and lemongrass. This is typically the type of fine pairing that pays homage to the vivacity of champagne.” Composed to be a pleasure for the senses, Krug 2004 champagne is undeniably the ultimate opus of the brand’s second trilogy, following Krug 1988, Drug 1989, and Krug 1990.