Close Menu
News Sponsored story

Prestige cuvées lead a summer of change for Champagne Besserat de Bellefon

With freshly unveiled prestige cuvées and new facilities, Champagne Besserat de Bellefon is building on its brand of French elegance and luxury.

Concorde, the Moulin Rouge, the Élysée Palace: think of an iconic French venue, and Champagne Besserat de Bellefon will often have featured on its wine list. The brand, first established as Maison Besserat in 1843 has long tied itself to the French ‘art de vivre’. Yet, even as a longstanding association, Champagne Besserat de Bellefon has accelerated it in recent years with new initiatives to bolster its prestige.

It made its first bottling of Cuvée Brigitte Bardot in 2018, having reached out to collaborate with the iconic actor. It has, for the last four years, sponsored Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, as beautiful sailboats descend on the Côte d’Azur each year. Besserat de Bellefon also partners with the French clothing Brand Saint James, famous for being rooted in a strong heritage with its recognisable stripes. It even publishes advice on style and dining beside its tasting notes, presenting a truly comprehensive sense of the ‘art de vivre’.

Continuing that trend of evolution from its historic roots, the maison has revealed two major new initiatives. Champagne Besserat de Bellefon’s range is to be supplemented by new prestige cuvées, and it has acquired new premises in the heart of Champagne.

As a route further into the world of fine wine, the maison is releasing two new bottlings under the title Cuvée des Moines. The Vintage 2012 will launch in late June, while the Blanc de Blancs Vintage 2015 will follow in late September. They will sit at the top of the company’s range, allowing Champagne Besserat de Bellefon a new edge in the prestige category.

Despite the cuvées being new to the range, the name is not. Indeed, it pays tribute to both the pioneering monks of Champagne (the translation of ‘Moines’) and a first iteration made almost a century ago.

The Crémant des Moines came about after Victor Besserat was challenged to create a Champagne to accompany an entire meal. His response was styled in the now discontinued Crémant de Champagne category, and intended as a light, finessed Champagne.

Though the category is now defunct, other bottles took on the title as a Cuvée des Moines. The two new versions now place it at the top of the brand’s pyramid, while offering a style that keeps the original’s aims of finesse and elegance.

Each benefits both from time and Champagne’s natural riches. Each is defined by extended bottle ageing, offering finesse and a soft mousse that pay tribute to the original crémant. The Chardonnay in each – the Vintage 2012 contains 60% in its blend – includes parcels from coveted grand cru villages such as Avize and Mesnil-sur-Oger. In keeping with a theme of elegance and delicacy, both cuvées are extra brut.

Even before they reach the market, the two bottles mark a large step forward for Champagne Besserat de Bellefon. The innovative labels recently won an award at the Pack & Spirit trade show.

Its labels are derived from sustainable materials. The oval section is made from cotton linters, a by-product of the industry which usually goes to waste. The transparent element, on the other hand, uses a plant-based film. Rather than, as is industry standard, using plastic, it is made from wood resin from responsibly sourced vineyards.

Such a modern approach to a classic element of bottle design is matched by Champagne Besserat de Bellefon’s approach to its new headquarters. Having acquired a neglected 18th Century building, yards from the famous Avenue de Champagne, it is refurbishing the building as a truly modern base of operations.

The architects’ designs for the new headquarters prioritise classic style and outdoor space.

Alongside meeting and storage rooms, the property will create a new destination in Épernay for Champagne lovers. Included in the plans are guest rooms, a boutique, a tasting area and garden terraces. The development promises a stylish setting for both business and pleasure, all bedecked in the maison’s signature blue.

Its revival indicates a continued focus for the company: centuries of know-how and quality, communicated to the modern consumer. Between the revived Cuvée des Moines and the new premises, 2024 will offer increased opportunities to reach those consumers. The ‘art de vivre’ may be as French as ever, but it is ready to expand its reach.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No