The bottle is unmistakably and recognisably Rare, the embodiment of one of Champagne’s finest and long-lived prestige cuvées. Yet, in a first for the brand, it is adorned with striking floral decorations that tell an inspirational story. Working in collaboration with French artist William Amor, Rare Champagne commissioned a series of eye-catching bottle designs, to raise awareness of environmental issues. It is a potent symbol of Rare Champagne’s commitment to a better future: striking designs produced exclusively with recycled materials in which art is at the service of the environment.
This is the story of Les Créations Messagères, a range of unique Mathusalem containing Rare Rosé Millésime 2012. Celebrating the launch of this exquisite tête de cuvée from Rare Champagne, each hand-decorated bottle, signed by William Amor, will be auctioned to raise funds for charities dedicated to the preservation of our environment and to positive social impact. ‘I wanted to express the aromas of Rare Rosé Millésime 2012, to interpret its elegance as a piece of royal jewellery – the tiara,’ explains William Amor. ‘The recycled aluminium cap becomes the flower and leaf of the cherry tree and of the vine; a purified plastic bag is unsoldered, dried and coloured with pigments before being crumpled and ripped, becoming a flower.’
This has long been the artist’s guiding philosophy: the desire to give discarded materials a new lease of life. Everything that the industry throws away, he cultivates in an extraordinary garden, a workshop-laboratory at the Villa du Lavoir. Nestled behind the Porte Saint Martin in Paris, this is where plastic bags and cast-off bottles are turned into petals at the hands of William Amor.
Nothing was wasted in this bold venture by Rare Champagne and William Amor – gravel was taken from Champagne vats and transformed into crystal pendants called ‘Les Joyaux de la Courone’. The flower’s pistils (the ovule-producing parts of a flower), meanwhile, were created from discarded fishing nets. ‘This is a creative, artistic, and solidarity collaboration for the coronation of nature’ says Maud Rabin, Rare Champagne Director.
Recently certified B Corp, the Champagne division of Groupe EPI (which includes Piper Heidsieck, Charles Heidsieck and Rare Champagne), was the first producer in the region to receive this honour, working towards an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economic system. The B Corp certification programme is overseen by non-profit organisation B Lab, responsible for assessing the social and environmental impact of each brand with more than 200 questions, covering governance, employees, communities, and the environment. The house scored 91.9 points (out of 100) in the B Corp Impact Assessment, and was particularly commended for its reduction of carbon footprint. ‘This partnership with William Amor is part of this commitment for a more beautiful planet that infuses the entire approach of the house,’ says Maud Rabin.
The unveiling of this groundbreaking project is ideally timed with the launch of Rare Rosé Millésime 2012. It is only the third vintage rosé to be disgorged at the house, following in the footsteps of the critically lauded 2007 and 2008 releases. A blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir, it was made by Émilien Boutillat, chef de cave at Piper Heidsieck and Rare Champagne. A master of his craft, Boutillat only works with superior plots in different villages across Champagne. When composing the blend, a small percentage of Pinot Noir from Les Riceys is added to create that lovely salmon-pink hue that distinguishes Rare Rosé Millésime from the Blanc. The wine was then aged on its lees for eight years, before disgorgement in the summer of 2021. Fruit-driven, structured and aromatically complex, Rare Rosé Millésime 2012 combines richness with an unmistakable salinity on the finish. It is caressingly velvety yet elegant, with a beautiful nose of coffee, blood orange, and an invigorating spiciness.
In that spirit of cooperation and friendship, Rare Champagne continues to work with extraordinary artists and artisans who all have two things in common: immeasurable talent and a conviction that everyone can contribute to a better and more beautiful world.