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N°161

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Champagne Binet: A revival

12/13
Winegrowers’ Portraits

Winegrowers’ Portraits Reims


Champagne Binet

A revival


At this year's Vinexpo-Bordeaux, Champagne Binet caused a sensation, with a new, glossy black bottle, with no label but the brand name etched in the glass and each letter hand-painted in red...

The same system was used for the other details, with different colours to distinguish the vintages: gold for the Brut, silver for the Blanc de Blancs, copper for the Rosé de saignée… each bottle was embellished with a matching metal cabochon. This minimalist design is in stark contrast with the traditional style of the wine of kings!

Behind this innovative bottle design was a team of fervent champagne lovers. Alongside Arnaud Vidal, the President, who has devoted a fair part of his existence to his other passion, watchmaking, the team has been at work on the renaissance of the Binet Champagne House in Reims since 2011. And hopes that tomorrow, the sleeping beauty will make a timely comeback. For Arnaud, “Watches and Champagne have a lot in com­mon. Both demand great precision, require historical know-how, are inspired by the traditional values of luxu­ry and innovate continuously”.

As soon as he took over the Maison Binet, he sought out the brand's DNA from questioning the descendants of the founder and scouring the archives. The original colours were red and black, and have been used today for the bottle design. Champagne Binet was reputed for its Grands Crus made with Pinot Noir grape varieties. As his exclusive suppliers, he chose a Grand Cru village in the Montagne de Reims, where the House's wine cellar was historically situated.

With so many selective criteria, the House of Binet's produc­tion could only be limited and rare! “In precision watchmaking as in jewellery making, products have a very strong identity and are recognisable from 30 feet away”, Arnaud adds. “An iconic watch and the bottle of a prestige vintage, follow the same rule. To showcase Champagne Binet, we developed and patented, with the help of a master glassmaker, a glossy, highly resistant food-grade lacquer that could be applied cold. The coating has the added advantage of protecting the wine from the light.

We replaced the traditional label with etching on the actual bottle. It seemed to me to be essential that Champagne Binet use only local skills from the Champagne region. For this reason, we worked with a highly-skilled craftsman from Haute-Marne who was able to carry out the engraving and hand paint the letters. So much innovation confers a status of its own on the Maison Binet.

We applied the same principles to our champagne as the jeweller who produces watches of great value, but doesn't hesitate to buy the mechanism, which is not his core business. Champagne Binet has a unique place in Champagne. Our collection of prestige vintages, made exclusively from Grand Cru grapes, in plot by plot wine-making, and their hand-engraved, hand-painted work-of-art bottles, are sold through a very selective network in Paris, New York and Hong Kong.



Arnaud Vidal, President of Champagne Binet and the Prestige Médaillon Rouge vintage.

Sheer luxury is immune to crisis and demand remains high for exceptional vintages on several conditions: the wine should have extraordinary personality and be made from the noblest and rarest champagne grapes. The House should be Historical with a capital H and the bottles must evoke the work of the goldsmith or of the most advanced, most refined craftsman. Champagne Binet has all these qualities. Added to this is a light effervescence, induced by moderate pressure in the bottle, a minimum of three years ageing for the Brut and five years for the Millésime to obtain fine bubbles and good length on the palate”.

The champagne par excellence, as founder Louis Binet called it, today produces four vintages: Brut Elite, Elite Blanc de Noirs, Elite Rosé, and, lastly Médaillon rouge. This single Grand Cru cuvee, vintaged, created in 1865, possesses a real legitimacy, produced in 1,849 bottles that are numbered, engraved, and certified by a wax seal! It will also be available in a tubular case, reminiscent of a watch case. Champagne Binet, a rare gift for giving or receiving, evoking the luxury of French art de vivre…

Marie-Caroline Bourrellis Maison Binet
9, rue André Pingat
51100 REIMS – France
Tél: +33 (0) 1 46 98 07 83
www.champagne-binet.com