Campari Group has established a new division and announced the acquisition of its first Champagne, Champagne Lallier.
The acquisition is also significant as it marks the first entry into the Champagne market by an Italian company.
“As the first Italian player in the Champagne category, we have great ambitions for Maison Lallier,” said Bob Kunze-Concewitz, Campari Group CEO.
Campari Group acquired an 80 per cent share in Champagne Lallier in 2020 and the brand will be managed by Campari’s new division, RARE. Headquartered in New York, RARE is focused on advancing Campari’s super-premium and above offering and will pilot across an ensemble of brands including Champagne, Cognac, Rum, Bourbon, Single Malt Scotch, and White Spirits.
Founded in 1906 in Aÿ, one of the few French villages classified as ‘Grand Cru’, Champagne Lallier carries a prestigious name and its distinctive winemaking philosophy aims to enhance the individuality of the terroir. Its expressions include Lallier’s flagship Série R (R.018) and Blanc de Blancs. (See more below.)
Up until now, Champagne Lallier has been predominantly sold in European Michelin starred restaurants and specialty wine shops but Campari’s strategy is to strengthen Lallier’s presence in leading Champagne markets.
Locally, Campari Australia will be distributing Champagne Lallier in partnership with The Standard Wine Company in Sydney and Melbourne as part of a phased expansion. They will maintain current distribution in Perth through Vintage Fine Wine Distributors.
Industry legend, Dominique Demarville joined Champagne Lallier as General Manager and Chef de Cave in January 2021 and his remit includes establishing Maison Lallier as a renowned global Champagne house and as a superior Champagne range. Mr Demarville was Director of Vineyards and Wines for both G.H.Mumm and Perrier-Jouët from 2003-2006 and Deputy Director of Veuve-Clicquot from 2006-2019.
Known for his bespoke fermentation techniques, Mr Demarville grows grapes eco-responsibly, keeps batches separate, and ages longer for depth and intensity, says Campari.
Mr Demarville says, “”Working with nature keeps your feet on the ground.”
In Australia, Champagne Lallier is initially launching in select on-premise restaurants where the premium plus and super-premium business is concentrated.
Campari Group will distribute: Millésime and Ouvrage, the crown jewels of Lallier’s Grand Cru cuvées.
The Ouvrage Cuvée epitomises the characteristics of Lallier’s owned Pinot Noir and Chardonnay Grands Crus vineyards. With its low dosage, a minimum of six years maturation on lees and disgorgement à la volée, Ouvrage is the House’s iconic cuvée with a complexity and long finish to provoke unforgettable emotions.
Release Série R.018 is known as Champagne Lallier’s flagship offering. The Lallier Série R conveys a reflection of its harvest year – ie: 2018 – and embodies the pure nature of the Champagne terroir through the individuality of each expression.
The Unexpected: Blanc de Blancs is 100 per cent Chardonnay unique in its provenance. The flavour is sourced from the blending of a rare plot of Chardonnay grapes in Aÿ, home of Pinot Noir, with Côtes des Blancs crus. This unexpected combination brings a distinctive balance of purity and intensity.