Champagne Roederer and Starck tie-up ‘like the Queen with Johnny Rotten’

Speaking last night at the launch of Louis Roederer’s 2012 vintage of its Brut Nature Champagne in partnership with Philippe Starck, the famous French designer described the tie-up as similar to mixing Royalty with punk rock.

Elegance is always in the minimal, said French designer Philippe Starck at the launch of the Louis Roederer et Philippe Starck Brut Nature 2012 launch last night in London

Pointing at Louis Roederer director Frédéric Rouzaud, and the Champagne producer’s cellar master Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, Starck said, “These two took a big risk with me.”

Continuing, he highlighted the difference between the respectability of Roederer and Starck’s outrageous nature by comparing the partnership to a pair of contrasting British figures.

“It’s like the Queen of England with Johnny Rotten – and I’m the punk,” he said, admitting that his nature was like the loud-mouthed lead singer of British band the Sex Pistols.

However, he also stressed the successful nature of the tie-up, which began in 2006, and resulted in an inaugural Starck-Roederer Brut Nature Blanc from the 2006 harvest – Roederer’s first Champagne without any dosage, which was released to retailers worldwide in September 2014.

Since then the triumvirate of personalities have worked together on a further Brut Nature from the 2009 harvest, and then, unveiled last week in Paris, and last night in London, was another zero-dosage Champagne from the 2012 vintage, as well as a rosé – the first sugarless rosé from the producer.

Commenting further on the partnership at the launch event, which was held at Piccadilly’s Royal Academy of Arts, Starck congratulated the producer on its ability to craft a fizz to his requirements, with the designer insisting on sugarless Champagne.

“When we had our first tasting [of the inaugural Brut Nature 2006], everyone was shocked, especially the boss,” began Starck, referring to Roederer director and owner, Frédéric Rouzaud.

“Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon was able to translate my words to chemistry, and it shows that if you have a vision, and you have a fine partner, then you can make anything,” he added.

Remarking more generally on the nature of Champagne, Starck spoke of his great love for the French fizz.

“Wine is a product, but Champagne is a project… when you bring a bottle of Champagne to friends it is to bring sparks of joy, sparks of pleasure; a fiesta,” he said.

“With a drop of Champagne, you can change your own universe,” he added.

Bearing in mind that Starck had insisted that a Roederer Champagne bearing his name must be bone-dry, he described the Brut Nature as a “reinvention of Champagne”, pointing out that it was something “more elegant and more pure”.

As a result, when it came to designing the packaging for the Champagne, Starck stressed that he “didn’t want something fancy”, but “very simple”, which explains the pared-back nature of the packaging, even if the current look is more colourful than the launch product, which featured plain white paper and graphite-coloured lettering.

Concluding on both the look, and the nature of the Champagne itself, Starck said, “Elegance is always in the minimal.”

The Brut Nature Blanc and Rosé both hail from a biodynamically-farmed 10-hectare south-facing plot of vines planted in clay soils in the village of Cumières, which carries premier cru status.

Both Champagnes have an RRP of £90-95.

Click here to read more about the origins of the Louis Roederer et Philippe Starck Brut Nature.

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