Pinot Meunier and porcelain for Cattier23rd January, 2013 by Patrick Schmitt
Cattier has confirmed that 2012 will be the inaugural vintage for the world’s first 100% Pinot Meunier prestige cuvée, while 2013 will see the producer employ a pioneering piece of packaging: a porcelain Champagne bottle.
Speaking to the drinks business last week, Cattier’s commercial director Philippe Bienvenu said that the house would definitely be bottling a single vineyard varietal Pinot Meunier from the 2012 vintage.
As previously reported by db, the Champagne will be bottled under Cattier’s Armand de Brignac label, famous for its gold packaging, high prices, large formats, and association with celebrities, most notably American rapper Jay-Z.
The grapes for the upcoming Champagne come from a 1.1 hectare walled vineyard called Clos Yons, situated between Chigny-les-Roses and Rilly-la-Montagne, which is planted exclusively with Pinot Meunier.
Currently grapes from the clos are used for the Armand de Brignac multi-vintage brut, and the addition of the single vineyard Champagne to the range will be the brand’s first vintage offering.
Bienvenu had already expressed high hopes to begin the single vineyard, single variety, vintage prestige cuvée with the 2012 vintage, but the weather in the first half of last year suggested the harvest might not be good enough.
“We were expecting 2012 to be relatively poor in terms of quality – because we had a horrible climate [initially], but then we had wonderful conditions for the harvest.”
Bienvenue also said that Armand de Brignac was continuing to benefit from an association with celebrities, recalling that R&B singer Rhianna bought several cases of Armand de Brignac Brut to serve to journalists on her 777 tour in November last year.
Meanwhile, for the Cattier brand specifically, Bienvenu said the house would be using the world’s first porcelain Champagne bottle this year to celebrate its 250th anniversary.
He stressed the technical challenge of containing the high-pressure product in the fragile material, but said that German porcelain manufacturer Meissen had overcome the challenge.
He also said that there was a possibility Cattier may be using American artist Jeff Koons to decorate the bottle, which will be filled with the house’s non-vintage blanc de blancs this spring.