Today is Queen Elizabeth II’s 94th birthday and so we raise a virtual glass of the finest Champagne, in her honour.
During her 68-year reign as Queen, she has upheld the Royal Warrants of eight Champagne Houses, with a ninth awarded and sustained by the Prince of Wales. They are as follows:
Bollinger, GH Mumm & Cie, Krug, Lanson, Laurent-Perrier (Prince of Wales), Louis Roederer, Moet & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Pol Roger
Bollinger is the oldest consecutive holder of a Royal Warrant, having held the warrant since 1884.
During Queen Elizabeth’s reign there have been over 600 different Champagnes released by these nine houses, but only eleven of them have secured a coveted perfect score by a leading critic.
The most recent of these was, Krug Clos Du Mesnil 1996, which was upgraded from 99 to 100 points by Antonio Galloni in 2010. In his 2019 tasting note, Galloni remarked that “Clos du Mesnil 1996, remains one of the greatest Champagnes I have ever tasted”, stating that it “is simply sublime”, although he did add, “the first signs of aromatic maturity are just starting to appear”.
Back in 2018, Liv-ex noted that Champagne was a market without bubbles, characterised by steady rather than spectacular returns. But below the placid surface there has been a tidal surge in activity. Since late 2016, the regions market share (by value) has grown from 5.5% to 8.8% with trade volumes up by 75% in that same period.
Although the Palace was not consulted (!) when the index was created, there is little surprise that seven out of the nine wines in the Liv-ex Champagne 50 are royal warrant holders. The index has increased 42.5% over five years and 286% since the inception of the index in 2003. A regal return.
As we raise a toast to the Queen for her 94th birthday, we also raise our hats to the vignerons of Champagne.