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30th August 2014

Fed up of heavy-weight wine bottles and reasonable prices? Try ‘Privé Bleu’!

Then you could have your Champagne in carbon-fibre* instead!

Yes, it's the new, ultra-luxurious ”Privé-Bleu”.

Best of all it's "unique"!

As if a new brand could succeed without being 'unique' these days!

But this one actually is! It's made from a completely unheard-of grape variety!

"Privé Bleu is unique in that it is made primarily from the Pinot Menuir grape, a variety that requires careful care by skilled hands. The Bourdaire family is one of few vineyards recognised for its ability to work in harmony with the grape. This includes allowing grass to grow in-between the vines, delivering depth and extra moisture to the Pinot Menuir fruit...
The distinctive Privé Bleu carbon fibre bottle has a high octane heritage packed with glamour, defined by performance and replete with industry-defining capability."

"Extra moisture". I never knew that was the secret! It is a bit Saharan in Champagne come to think of it. Oh, no, wait...
And what use is your heritage if it isn’t high octane?

There are three grape varieties used in Champagne, and Pinot Meunier is firmly – and I don’t think there is much deviation from this view – the least-good of them. I’d imagine even its greatest fans would at least attempt to spell it correctly.

I truly despise these 'milk-the-rich' brands, and I hope this one fails dramatically having lost its backers a pile of money. Sadly, I doubt it will (although, whither 'Angel'?)

By putting out nonsense misinformation like the above (and throughout their website) they muddy the waters of what wine is about, and make people believe that anything expensive is only so because the producers can get away with it. Which may be true in their case, but is not necessarily in general.

Fortunately - in my experience - the very rich are not nearly as gullible as these people seem to want to believe.

I'm perfectly prepared to believe that the Bourdaire family's Pinot Meunier-based grower Champagne is a drinkable, and well-priced, wine. I think they should keep it that way.

I have subsequently heard that the recommended retail price for this exquisite confection is €595 (!).
A bottle of Bourdaire Gallois Champagne Brut NV was for sale on Winesearcher yesterday for €28.95. You have to really, really want an empty carbon fibre bottle…


Some nice Champagne, yesterday.

*Disclaimer: I don't actually know whether the bottle is light. And I don't care.

Response to an unpublished comment (18.12.14):

Dear Anon

Thanks for your comment yesterday. I don't think I can publish it in case the makers of the product take issue with your claim, which I personally don't doubt for a second. All the above is just my opinion (and yours by the sound of it), but I hope I have been careful to avoid making unsubstantiated factual claims.

Interesting that the bottle is carbon-fibre covered glass (in fact someone else pointed out to me that Carbon Fibre might not actually be impermeable to Carbon Dioxide, making a bottle made from it wholly unsuitable for holding sparkling wine. And if similar is true for oxygen, then for any wine. I know carbon fibre can hold water, but that is not the only criteria for a wine bottle.)

Re-reading what I wrote, it does come across as rather over acerbic perhaps, but having been a wine supplier to the super-rich, I stand by what I said. The primary quality that an expensive wine should have is to be a good wine, and its price should be the result of competing in a market, not the whim of a marketer. I don't know how the Privé Bleu brand has fared, but I do know that I would infinitely rather have 4 bottles of Dom Perignon, or 20 of Louis Roederer NV, for this money, and I would advise anyone else likewise...


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