With the entertainment industry having been so dramatically impacted by the ongoing effects of Covid-19, it’s hardly surprising that so many celebrities have taken on new side-line business ventures. The celebrity-endorsed alcohol market, for instance, is booming at the moment. Ryan Reynolds’ Aviation Gin continues to gain popularity, while Snoop Dogg has released a fruit-infused gin. Brad Pitt has a new pink Champagne, while Kylie Minogue has expanded her range of rosé wines, and the Delevingne sisters have introduced a new range of prosecco. Idris Elba has also launched two new wines under his brand, Porte Noire. But with so many actors, musicians, athletes, super models, and other big names becoming involved in these marketing campaigns, it’s difficult to tell which of the wines and spirits are worthy of our attention.
Launch towards the end of 2020, Idris Elba’s new Porte Noire expressions include a Provence rosé produced by Chateau Sainte Marguerite, and a Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Champagne, produced by Champagne Sanger. On the new wines, Idris Elba said: “Porte Noire is a gateway to great stories with friends. Stories and good friends are why we have made this collection of great tasting wine.”
During the First World War, the Champagne region was essentially a frontline, with the fields used to grow grapes turned into war zones. The Sanger school in Avise remained relatively unscathed, however, and played a pivotal role in restoring the Champagne industry. Bought by an affluent couple and donated to the local authority, on the provisions that the school remained open, Sanger is now a state Champagne school teaching students the fine art of Champagne production, training more than 80 percent of future winegrowers in the region.
Since 1952, students, professionals, and the school’s cellar master have also been producing the Sanger range. Utilising the House’s access to much of the terroir of Champagne, calling upon vineyards to select their grapes from. Champagne Sanger mainly uses grapes from Grand Cru villages, enabling them to consistently produce high-quality wines.
Following a visit to the Avize Viti Campus, in the heart of Côte de Blancs, Idris Elba was offered the opportunity to release a batch of Champagne Sanger under his own label, having also teamed up with David Farber of Connaught Cellars to bring some expertise to Porte Noire.
Made with 100 percent Chardonnay, the Porte Noire Blanc de Blancs 2010 features a blend of 30 percent wine that has not undergone malolactic fermentation, ultimately preserving the natural freshness of the grape.
The essence of the 42 terroirs from the four regions of Champagne, the Porte Noire Champagne Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs 2010 is an original expression of matured Chardonnay, reflecting the chalky earth and expressive flavours of the grape. Rounded notes of apple, pear and yeast dominate on the nose, while zippy lemon notes linger on the palate alongside a gorgeous note of heavily buttered toast which enhance the richness, while the finish is crisp and smooth. Simply, it’s an excellent, exceptionally well-balanced Champagne.
Porte Noire Champagne Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs 2010, By Idris Elba is available from Connaught Cellars, £89.