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Delhi Wine Club
Moet Chandon not Best but Biggest Selling Champagne

Posted: Monday, 10 September 2012 11:52

Moet Chandon not Best but Biggest Selling Champagne

September 10 : The ubiquitous champagne Moët & Chandon continues to be the best selling champagne of the world selling around 26.5 million bottles and along with its brand Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin (VCP) controls over 14% of the market with a sale of around 43.5 million bottles but Taittinger Vintage 2004 is the best value fine champagne, according to an analysis by Subhash Arora who finds Charles Heidsieck the best value for money quality champagne based on a report of the Best 100 Champagnes by a Master of Wine, Essi Avellan.

Although Moët & Chandon continues to be the best selling champagne, it lost a significant share of 15% with its second most selling brand VCP trailing with a 10% market share during last year. While Lanson saw the biggest drop of 54% , Nicolas Feuillatte was one of the few brands to score growth (18%). Moët & Chandon was first granted a Royal Warrant in 1893 by Queen Victoria and it was reaffirmed in 1955 by Queen Elizabeth II.

This year Veuve Clicquot released its first La Grande Dame since the 1998 vintage. This is their prestige cuvee, the first vintage of which was launched only in 1962 with 6,000 bottles. However, the 1966 vintage launched in 1972 was the first commercial release, according to the Drinks Business.

Last year, Piper-Heidsieck was acquired by the Descours family and EPI, the private French luxury group. It is hoped the move will secure and support future development of the brand and its international reputation within the high-end luxury category of Champagne houses. The number three champagne in the export market is being distributed by Sula in India.

Here are the rankings on volume basis as reported by the Drinks Business with details of the brand owners; sales are reported on a 9-liter (12 bottle case) basis. MC and VCP are imported by Moet Hennessy directly and distributed through local distributors. Mumm is imported by Pernod Ricard while Global Tax Free imports Laurent Perrier (LP). Taittinger is the import of Prestige Wines while Brindco imports Pommery along with other labels.

  Rank     Label                            Sale (‘11)* Growth Brand Owner
  1. Moët Chandon                 2,205,000   -15%   Moët  Hennessy
  2. Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin 1,450,000 -10% Moët  Hennessy
  3. Nicolas Feuillatte  800,000 18%       Centre Vinicole–Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte
  4. GH Mumm 638,000  .15%       Pernod Ricard
  5. Laurent Perrier  580,000   4% Group Laurent Perrier
  6. Piper Heidsieck  520,000   2.5%   Societe Europeenne de Participations Industrielles
  7. Taittinger 464,000   1.3%    Taittinger CCVC
  8. Pommery  410,000 -1.6%    Vranken Pommery Monopole
  9. Lanson  405,000 -54% Lanson
  10. Perrier-Jouët   211,000  .47%      Pernod Ricard     

* Sale in 9 liter cases (6 bottle cases adjusted)

Interestingly, a list of Best Champagnes for 2012 is also being compiled by the Finnish Mistress of Wine Essi Avellan, who is a better taster than even her MW title might suggest. She is a regular taster of Champagne and is known for her annual  Best 100 champagnes of the year compilation. Here is her list of the top 10 champagnes out of the Best 100. Interestingly the top 2 positions are shared by champagnes from the Taittinger stable imported exclusively by the Delhi-based Prestige Wines and Spirits Pvt Ltd.

  1. Taittinger Comtesse de Champagne 2000
  2. Taittinger Vintage 2004
  3.   Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé 2002
  4.  Moet and Chandon Dom Perignon 2000
  5. Moet and Chandon Dom Perignon 2002
  6. Bollinger La Grande Anée Rosé 2002
  7. Laurent Perrier Alexandra Rosé 1998
  8. Piper Heidsieck Rare 2002
  9. Charles Heidsieck Brut Roederer Reserva NV
  10. Charles Heidsieck Blancs des Millénaires 1995  

It’s not surprising that none of the largest selling brands find a place in the Top 10 Best brands. As Essi concedes, Prestige Cuvee made up around 40% of the whole list she tasted. These wines easily sell for more than 3 times the cost of Non Vintage champagnes which cost on the average less than $50 in retail internationally. Only 45% of the wines were a part of the best selling NV champagnes.

It is remarkable that Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve that sells 10% cheaper than Moet Chandon and 20% cheaper than the 2nd biggest selling champagne VCP (source- is ranked 9th among the Top 10 Best Champagnes of the world, making it our most recommended champagne. It’s available fairly easily at the airport duty-free shops. Those who don’t like to look at the pedestrian or industrial champagnes in the best selling list, would find Taittinger Vintage 2004 as the best value-for-money champagne. The second ranked wine is available for as low as $65 and definitely would be the best value-for-money super premium champagne based on how it is drinking today and perhaps will keep for several years.

Subhash Arora


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