MARTIN Pierre-Denis, dit le Jeune © Photo RMN - Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Gérard BlotEntrance of the second service to the banquet celebrating Louis XV’s coronationENTRÉE DU SECOND SERVICE AU FESTIN ROYAL DONNÉ APRÈS LE SACRE DE LOUIS XV2022 was a year of special historical significance for both Champagne and Maison de Venoge. Two major projects by de Venoge that came to fruition this year showcase prestige single-vintage Champagnes. They are a part of deVenoge’s long-term plan to honour the rich history of Champagne and propel the brand to the future.⓵ Limited release cuvée commemorating the 300th anniversary of the coronation of Louis XV Village Cellars ―― 2022 marks the 300th anniversary of the coronation of King Louis XV, a king closely associated with the birth of Champagne. How did de Venoge, whose top cuvée bears the name ‘Louis XV,’ celebrate this milestone?de Venoge ―― I’ll start with the history, because Louis XV was very important to Champagne. His coronation on 25th October 1722, when he was 12 years old, was the first time sparkling Champagne (vin mousseux) was officially noted, with 6000 bottles served at his coronation dinner. Then, in 1728 when he was 18 years old, Louis XV authorised the shipment of Champagne in bottles. That is how Champagne started. The first Maison, Ruinart, was established in 1729 followed by Chanoine in 1730. It was important because fermentation was occurring in the bottles, and no other white wines could be bottled at that time.This year is the 300th anniversary of Louis XV’s coronation in Reims where all French kings of the Bourbon dynasty were crowned, and his Coronation dinner in the Palais du Tau. Of course at de Venoge we had to do something for this occasion, to put the importance of Louis XV to Champagne in the spotlight. So we chose a special release of the 1996 vintage, which was considered one of the two best vintages of the 20th century.To design a bottle to commemorate this special moment in history, we carefully examined the only remaining bottle used to serve the wine at the coronation dinner. The medallion on the neck features the coat of arms of Reims, which was engraved on the bottle at the time. The label also features the medal distributed to the people to commemorate the coronation. It is not only a Millésime of exceptional quality, but also a collector’s item commemorating a wonderful history.the bottle from coronation in Palais du Tau (Reims)The carafe-shaped de Venoge bottle was also inspired by the bottles of that period. Traditionally, one reason behind the long neck was that people who were serving the King and royalty could keep a respectful distance. In 1722 it was a bottle of service. The wine wasn’t aged in bottles but in barriques, so it was sparkling but not as we know it today. It wasn’t until later with stronger bottles that Champagne became as sparkling as the wine we enjoy today was made.The Louis XV 1996 is 50 percent Pinot Noir and 50 percent Chardonnay, only from Grand Cru vineyards. The characteristics of the 1996 is the perfect balance between acidity and sugar which was only achieved twice in the 20th Century, in 1928 and 1996. Wines with this balance need a lot of time to age ‒ if you drink them too young the acidity is very evident. Right now the 1996 is 26 years old, and is just starting to be well balanced, and it will be fantastic. James Suckling tasted the wine in August and gave it 98 points. Production is limited to 5,000 numbered bottles.There will be 300 bottles in Japan, and they were disgorged in June 2022.#12291de Venoge Louis XV (300eme Anniversaire du Sacre) '96Origin：Champagne AOC, FranceVarietals：Chardonnay 50%/Pinot Noir 50%Alc. 12.0％ Dosage：6.0g/LRRP (before tax)：￥80,000The 1996, along with the 1928, are regarded as the great vintages of the 20th century. This rare single vintage cuvee was made from 100% first press juice from Grand Cru vineyards and aged for 26years. It show fine bubbles, delicate and complex aromas, and a depth of flavour and maturity that unfolds gracefully. 98pts James Suckling. MLF, disgorged June 2022.⓶ Grand Vin des Princes 2014―― This is another wine with a long history. In the 19th Century des Venoge was a supplier to royalty in Europe. In 1858, de Venoge made a special cuvee for the son of the King of Holland, the Prince of Orange, which is why we call it Vin des Princes, and we also registered the trademark. In 1961 when we produced the first decanter bottle it was called Grand Vin des Princes, a prestige cuvee which a lot of the Champagne houses started making in the 1960s. We produced several vintages up until 1993, when we switched to clear glass decanter bottles, and stopped making it. The Grand Vin des Princes was only made with Chardonnay ‒ it was considered a fantastic wine among connoisseurs, and they have been asking for it ever since. So in 2014 we started making it again in very small quantities of 10,000 bottles of Grand Vin des Princes 2014 from 100 percent Chardonnay. I also decided to make a Rose that was 100 percent Pinot Noir.The idea is to have a second prestige cuvee, a bit more affordable than the Louis XV because the Prince shouldn’t be as expensive as the King. All the bottles are numbered, 10,000 for the white, and 5,000 for the rose. It has received fantastic scores from James Suckling and Robert Parker, 96 for the Blanc de Blancs and 97 for the Rose, and the results were phenomenal. So we will continue to produce it, but it is a long term strategy. We introduced the 2014 in 2021. The next vintage is 2015 ‒ 5,000 bottles of each, which will be released at the beginning of 2023.The Grand Vin des Princes fruit is mainly from Grand Cru vineyards and it is made with malolactic fermentation. With 100 percent Chardonnay Blanc de Blancs and 100 percent Pinot Noir for the Rose, it shows the two sides of Champagne’s most well-known grapes. Yet, they maintain the key characteristic of de Venoge wines, the style of freshness and elegance with vinosity.#12151de Venoge Grand Vin des Princes Rose '14Origin：Champagne AOC, FranceVarietals：Pinot Noir 100%Alc. 12.2％ Dosage：6.0g/LRRP (before tax)：￥20,000The Princes 'Millesime' is only released in outstanding years. It is made from a precise selection of Pinot Noir from Verzenay and Les Ricey, and aged in the bottle for 72 months. Rich red fruit and spice with an energetic, elegant and complex finish. 97pts James Suckling.