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Prestige Cuvée Champagne

The concept of a "prestige cuvée" emerged in the 20th century, with the debut of Moët & Chandon's Dom Pérignon in 1936. This was an ambitious project to create an exceptional Champagne that would only be produced during the best vintage years. Named after the Benedictine monk often (though incorrectly) credited with inventing Champagne, Dom Pérignon set a new standard in the world of sparkling wines.

From this benchmark, the notion of creating a definitive, luxurious cuvée spread across the Champagne region, and other houses began to follow suit. Each prestigious label typically reflects the highest expression of a house's craftsmanship and the unique terroir of its vineyards. These cuvées are often made from grapes sourced from Grand Cru vineyards - the highest classification of vineyard quality in the Champagne region - and are the result of meticulous selection and blending of the finest base wines.

Among the legendary names is Louis Roederer's Cristal, originally crafted in 1876 for Tsar Alexander II of Russia. Cristal was unique at its inception, not only for its quality but also for its presentation in clear glass bottles to allay the Tsar's fear of assassination attempts hidden in the punt of traditional Champagne bottles. This cuvée remains synonymous with luxury and exclusivity, made from the finest selection of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, demonstrating a precise balance and finesse.

Krug's Grande Cuvée is another jewel in the crown of Champagne. Founded by Joseph Krug in 1843, the house established a distinctive approach to Champagne making, emphasising the importance of individual plots and the character they can bring to a blend. The Grande Cuvée, with its extensive library of reserve wines, showcases the house's philosophy of creating a Champagne that is richly nuanced and with a remarkable capacity to age.

Bollinger's R.D., short for 'Recently Disgorged', is an innovative addition to the list of prestige cuvées. Madame Bollinger introduced this concept in 1967, offering a Champagne that has been aged on its lees for an exceptionally long time and then disgorged much later than typical, creating a unique freshness and complexity.

Then there is Taittinger's Comtes de Champagne, a Blanc de Blancs (made entirely from Chardonnay grapes) that epitomises elegance and delicacy. It's a tribute to the Counts of Champagne and is only produced when the Chardonnay harvest is of exemplary quality. Aged for a minimum of eight years in the cellars, the Comtes de Champagne is renowned for its pure, minerally profile that whispers rather than shouts its class.

Not to be overlooked, Veuve Clicquot's La Grande Dame, named in honour of Madame Clicquot, who took over her husband's wine business at the age of 27 in the early 19th century, is a symbol of strong heritage and forward-thinking innovation. This cuvée is a homage to her indomitable spirit and exceptional skill, embodying the house's commitment to quality.

The art of making these elite cuvées often extends beyond the liquid itself to the vessel in which it is presented. Many prestige cuvées come in specially designed bottles and packaging that elevate their status as objects of desire and collectability. For instance, Perrier-Jouët's Belle Epoque, with its beautiful floral bottle designed by Emile Gallé, is instantly recognisable and is as much a decorative piece as it is a container for high-quality Champagne.

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Armand de Brignac Blanc Ace of Spades Gold product image
Armand de Brignac Blanc Ace of Spades Gold
75 cl / 12.5% ABV
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7 Reviews
274.99