British public is still quaffing high-end bubbles, says Pol Roger

Imbibe Editorial

Imbibe Editorial

23 March 2017

Champagne Pol Roger has bolstered claims that the British public still has a great deal of love for high-end sparklers by reporting soaring sales in the UK.

The CIVC reported that UK sales dropped 14% in value in 2016 across the on- and off-trades, blaming Brexit and the plummeting value of sterling for the decline.

But it also said that the decrease in sales was coming at the lower end of the market, where bargain basement champagne deals are becoming less prevalent, not least due to the rise of prosecco.

Pol Roger has backed up the claim by telling Imbibe that sales have never been better on this side of the English Channel.

'While the recent CIVC figures reveal that overall champagne sales are dropping, 2016 was another record year for Champagne Pol Roger in the UK,' said managing director James Simpson MW, who has been at the Champagne House since 1993 and took over the top job when Nick James retired two years ago.

'We attribute this to our on-going commitment to producing wines to an exacting standard, ensuring the wine ages longer and develops complexity, the standard first established by Monsieur Pol Roger in 1849.

'Sales in 2017 show no sign of slowing with the recently released Brut Vintage 2008 being our fastest selling vintage of all time, testament to the fact that we make vintage champagne to last, and this wine has all the hallmarks of a classic Pol Roger vintage, with ample concentration and richness to develop over the next 20 years.'

The 2008 is described by the Champagne House as one of the top 12 vintages since it was founded in 1849. It said the 2008 harvest was characterised by 'outstanding' conditions in the vineyard, the grapes were healthy, and the balance of sugar and acidity was 'perfect'.

After releasing figures showing the category’s decline, Champagne Bureau director Francoise Peretti said: 'It seems that UK customers are no longer seduced by the cut-priced propositions but their appetite for premium-priced champagnes is plainly growing with rose and prestige cuvees gathering momentum.

'We should not be surprised. Champagne was always meant to be at the pinnacle. What we see here is a reinforcement of that special status in the minds of most of its loyal customers.'

The UK is still the world’s second largest consumer of champagne.

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