Idris Elba launches Champagne and Provence rosé
Actor, writer, producer, rapper, singer, songwriter and DJ Idris Elba has entered the celebrity wine game and partnered with two French estates on his own label, Porte Noire.
Elba, known for his roles in The Wire, Luther and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, has curated a Champagne and rosé for his brand, which was unveiled at a launch party in west London on Thursday (3 September).
The wines, a Provence rosé and blanc de blancs Grand Cru Champagne, are produced by Chateau Sainte Marguerite and Champagne Sanger respectively. The wines will be distributed in the UK by Enotria&Coe.
The Château Sainte Marguerite was created in 1929 and was acquired by the Fayard family in 1977.
Situated between Toulon and Saint Tropez, the estate covers 91 hectares around the village of La Londe, much of which is Cru Classe rated, and all of which owner Jean-Pierre Fayard tends to with organic viticulture practices.
Elba’s rosé comes from the 2019 vintage, and is made from a typical blend of Grenache and Cinsault.
Sanger, meanwhile, is not so much a Champagne house as a college.
It is run by the students and faculty cellar masters at the Avize Viti Campus, the region’s viticultural school founded in 1927.
The school produces Champagne from the Côte des Blancs and Montagne de Reims, including a number of Grand Cru plots.
A spokesperson from the Champagne school said in a statement the star “has a very good eye for every single detail”.
“We ensuring quality came, working with great local wine makers. Then every single one needs to fit our kudos; a nice story, a cool and desirable product, and we’re starting with high end but very good value wine, an affordable luxury positioning.”
Asked what his favourite fizz is on a normal day, the actor said he’s a Veuve Clicquot fan. “I like something that’s easy drinking…so you can have a few glasses and be ok”, he said.
Elba said the Champagne label came about after he was invited to the Avize Viti Campus 18 months ago along with then-girlfriend (now wife), Sabrina Dhowre. After their stay, Champagne Sanger offered Elba a batch of the wine to sell under his own label “to commemorate our time at the school.”
He joins a fast-growing list of performers who have released their own wines while global lockdowns have brought the entertainment business close to a standstill. Launching a wine keeps artists in the public eye while opportunities to get in front of the camera or on stage are limited.
This week, UK supermodel Cara Delevingne launched her own Prosecco brand alongside sisters Chloe and Poppy, while pop icon Kylie Minogue has already expanded her new wine range with a Sauvignon Blanc and a Merlot sitting beside two rosés.