Piper-Heidsieck is one of the oldest French champagne houses, dating back to 1785, while jewellery dynasty Mellerio was birthed in 1613. Both seduced Marie Antoinette and are now considered two of the most influential and prestigious Maisons in France. In celebration of their comparable royal heritage, the imperial houses have collaborated to create Le Secret, an exceptional and grand cuvée champagne that brings cellar and atelier together in delicious harmony.
A cuvée is considered Rare when extreme weather conditions attribute to its creation and flavour. Such was the case in 1997, when Régis Camus, Cellar Master of Rare Champagne (the prestige brand of Piper-Heidsieck), noticed a uniqueness in the wines of that year and chose not to declare a “secret” batch. He instead worked in private to painstakingly blend a very small quantity of champagne, which he stored in magnums for 20 years.
In 2017, Camus approached Laure-Isabelle, artistic designer at Mellerio. “I have a secret to tell you,” he said. “There is something in my cellar that no-one knows about, and it’s time to drink it.”
Rare Le Secret really is as rare as the label suggests. With exceptional complexity and character, it is a fresh and vivacious sip, fizzing with tropical fruits and natural sweetness – no sugar was added (or needed) in its creation. It is housed in a minimalist bottle with an embossed 18-karat gold plate, designed by Mellerio. Only 1000 magnums have been produced, priced at £1,150.
Mellerio has also designed three one-of-a-kind High Jewellery bottles. Each of these is ornately wrapped with an ornamental gold and platinum bow, inspired by Antoinette’s Rococo ribbons, and finished with a precious stone – diamond, ruby, sapphire or emerald.
“Mary Antoinette launched the ribbon trend,” Laure-Isabelle told me, “She put them everywhere, on her dresses and furniture and even her jewellery. It therefore felt like the perfect motif to evoke and honour her within our design.”
Each High Jewellery bottle is priced at £115,000, setting the record for the highest price ever charged outside of auction. Mellerio jewellers will then transform the bottle’s adornment into a unique brooch, necklace or pendant to keep forever. Mary Antoinette would have certainly approved.
Available in Harrods until 15 December, 87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL