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Bollinger moves focus to Champagne credentials

Champagne Bollinger is putting a fresh emphasis on its wine credentials after last year’s focus on the brand’s association with James Bond.

While 2015 saw Bollinger release a 50,000 bottle limited edition 2009 vintage to coincide with the 24th Bond film, Spectre, and commemorate the 14th time the Champagne brand has featured in a James Bond film, 2016 will see the house move away from its association with the fictional secret service agent, and concentrate on what makes Bollinger unique in terms of taste.

“The year of 2015 was very much about celebrating our 40 year partnership with the Broccoli family [the producers behind the 007 film series] through Bond, and it was a very successful year for us – again it was a record – but now we feel that 2016 is a good opportunity to get back to our wine credentials,” Bollinger president Jérôme Philippon told the drinks business last month.

As a result, Bollinger has “two key initiatives” for this year. The first was a masterclass on what makes the brand’s Brut NV – called Special Cuvée – special, which was held last month in London.

Bollinger Spectre Limited Edition

While the second will be the unveiling later this month of a new cellar named Gallery 1829 after the brand’s founding date, where the house will display its historic collection of Champagnes back to the nineteenth century.

Speaking further about the brand’s decision to focus on it the nature of its Special Cuvée, rather than its Bond association, Philippon said, “We will remain an independent family owned house as long as our style is different – and our marketing has always been based on our differentiation of style; it is all about the taste.”

Continuing, he said, “It is so important to share with our partners why is it different, why it so special, why it is called Special Cuvée, and dissect what makes it special.

“It can’t be on just image, it has to be on taste and it has to remain on the taste…

And with a mature market [like the UK] it is very important to communicate these elements, and share this knowledge.”

Bollinger Special Cuvée was created as a non-vintage Champagne in 1911 following an exchange between the house and its UK importer, Mentzendorff.

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