If you are a champagne connoisseur and by happenstance live in Saint Tropez at this very moment, you’ll be wise to hurry up to the House of Devavry to snatch a limited edition single Magnum of Cuvée Carbon Champagne. Don’t forget to take €2,100 (about $2,900). For that money you will only get a bottle of 1.5 liter Carbon Champagne – a Grand and Premier Cru blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes.
Strict French Law prohibits any changes to the shape of the glass champagne bottle, this forces winemakers to be creative to stand out from the competition by making changes to the exterior of the bottle. At the House of Devavry, this responsibility fell on Alexandre Mea, whose family has been in the winegrowing and champagne making business for at least five generations. A Formula 1 racing fan, it took Mea four years to transfer his carbon fiber knowledge from Formula 1 cars to champagne bottles. The first wines to receive the iconic carbon bottle treatment were 2005 and 2006 vintages.
Making carbon fiber wraps is a time consuming work. It takes each Reims, France-based craftsman six days and 30 individual precise steps to create packaging for each bottle. The high price label of the Cuvée Carbon is due to this very labor intensive process, which makes packaging very costly.
In all, three sizes of Carbon Champagnes are available – the Magnum, the Methuselah 6-liter bottle for €6,000 (about $8,200) and the 15-liter Nebuchadnezzar at €35,000 (about $48,000). As the price tags show, producers are betting big on exclusivity.
The newly opened Saint Tropez shop sells only two items, the Carbon Champagne, and caviar. Other exclusive markets Carbon Champagne currently on sale are Monaco, Moscow, and Mauritius. Availability in the US is a big maybe.
Update – as the commenter below notes, Methuselahs are now available in Lisbon as well. Thanks for that bit of news Martínez Teixeira!