Tesco Bubbly Beats Off Heavyweights To Win Champagne Oscars
Tesco’s own label bubbly has beaten off heavyweight names such as Taittinger and Lanson to win the champagne world’s equivalent of the Oscars.
In a highly embarrassing blow to the sniffy champagne world Tesco Premier Cru was considered better than bubbly more than three times its price. The announcement was made at the recent International Wine Challenge Awards in London where Tesco won the Non-Vintage Champagne Trophy. Tesco’s bubbly also beat off other world famous brands such as Piper Heidsieck, and Mumm in the competition that attracted 160 entries.
Tesco’s Beer, Wines and Spirits Division Director Mark Murphy said, “It’s previously been judged best champagne by Which? magazine, but now Tesco Premier Cru has sealed its reputation by winning this Oscar. For a British supermarket champagne to beat Taittinger, Lanson, Piper Heidsieck, Mumm and other famous names is a real coup. While the award is the crowning glory for Premier Cru it confirms what thousands of customers already know week in week out – you don’t have to pay sky high prices to enjoy quality champagne.”
Tesco Premier Cru first caused a stir in the champagne world back in December 2002 when it was rated best bubbly in a blind tasting by consumer magazine Which?, seeing off the likes of Bollinger and Moet and Chandon. Since then it has gone from strength to strength in popularity with sales rocketing by a staggering 55 per cent in the last three years.
The champagne was launched in 1995 and caused an immediate stir thanks to outstanding reviews from wine writers. Tesco’s Mark Murphy added, “Premier Cru is one of Tesco’s greatest success stories because it has taken both the champagne world by storm and has also been a massive favourite with our customers. Hopefully anyone who may have been sceptical about Premier Cru will now consider trying it to see why the experts have made it their No 1.”
The International Wine Challenge is an annual competition run by Wine International magazine and remains the largest and most prestigious blind wine tasting in the world. A panel of around 300 expert tasters drawn mainly from the wine industry try out wines and champagnes available to the British market.
Robert Joseph, chairman of the International Wine Challenge said: “In France, champagne isn’t just a celebration drink, people drink it at home, even if it isn’t a special occasion. It’s fantastic that a British supermarket can choose a champagne that proves to be better than many of the big names, and sell it at an affordable price. Hopefully it will allow more of the British public to experience the unique flavour of great champagne normally associated with much more expensive brands.”
Other champagnes that entered the competition included Mercier, Pommery, Perrier Jouet, Charles Heidsieck, Duval Leroy, Canard-Duchene, Heidsieck Monopole, Drappier, and Cordoniu.
Note to editors:
About Tesco Premier Cru champagne:
Tesco Premier Cru costs £14.79 a bottle.
The grapes used for this champagne come exclusively from Premier Cru vineyards, based mainly in the Cote des Blancs, to the south of Epernay.
Bottle maturation takes up to 36 months, which is longer than average in Champagne. After disgorging, the bottles are returned to the cellars for about three months so as to ensure the optimum condition of the bottle when it is shipped.
Union Champagne, which produces the champagne for Tesco, has access to 1200 hectares, through 1860 affiliated growers. The total area under vine in all of Champagne is 31,000 hectares, so the Union is the most significant producer of Premier Cru champagne within the entire trade.
Tesco’s core market is the UK, where the UK division employs 250,000 people and operates over 1,779 stores. Almost 80% of group sales and profits come from the UK business.
Tesco Plc operates in 12 markets outside the UK, in Europe and Asia. The retail giant employs 100,000 people in its international operations, serving over 15 million customers and generating £7.6 billion in sales and a £370 profit.
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