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Roederer turns to brown bottles

Louis Roederer has released its first Champagnes in brown bottles following a decision to switch from green glass last year.

The move was made in response to research which showed that brown glass filtered almost 100% of damaging ultraviolet light, but green glass only 92%.

First to appear in the new bottle is Roederer’s Brut Premier, which will be followed by the 2006 vintage, which is currently ageing in the Champagne house’s cellars.

The introduction of brown bottles is a costly move for Louis Roederer due to smaller production levels of brown glass.

However, Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon, cellar master at Roederer, described the decision as “part of our strive for perfection”.

Importantly, investigations have shown that brown glass gives extremely good protection over the full ultraviolet spectrum including short wavelength ultraviolet light, which can cause the release of sulphurous compounds within the wine, tainting it with what the French call goût de lumière.

Nevertheless, Roederer’s prestige cuvée Cristal will continue to be bottled using clear glass and wrapped in orange cellophane.

The famous outer wrapping apparently achieves a 98% protection from ultraviolet penetration.

The change in glass colour for Louis Roederer’s core range follows a packaging redesign in 2008.

Patrick Schmitt, 01.07.2010

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