Is it right for a wine to have a different testimonial than the producer or wine maker? Christoph Waltz the actor binds his name to Dom Pérignon P2
By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Fattoria del Colle, Orcia DOC, Cenerentola
Generally wine producers associate their face to the wine, in other words they become the first testimonials of the wines they produce.
In some cases the symbiosis man-wine is so perfect such as for the Baroness Philippine de Rothschild with her extraordinary charm like a theatre actress and because she is the descendant of one of the richest and most powerful families in the world. She was the reflection of Château Mouton and of it wines with auteur labels.
I might mention other perfect connections: Angelo Gaja and his Barbaresco both express the same enthusiastic and innovative energy, Franco Biondi Santi and his Brunello with the same auteur elegance and a similar respect for traditions ….. with the passing of time the symbiosis between producer and wine has diminished. Maybe it is because today there are the wine makers and the agronomists, the sales managers and marketing staff who dilute the personality of the creator. In other words men like Bepi Quintarelli who was reflected in his Amarone and in his hand written labels, are more and more rare.
It is not surprising then that a famous Champagne producer has chosen as a testimonial someone other than the wine makers, just like in fashion and for perfumes. The winery I am talking about is Dom Pérignon owned by the luxury colossus, the LVMH group that owns 70 brands among the most prestigious and exclusive in 5 different categories: wines and spirits, clothing and accessories, cosmetics and perfumes, watches and jewels, exclusive stores (Duty Free and Department stores). In this shiny portfolio stand also Moet & Chandon and Dom Pérignon.
So let’s take a better at the Dom Pérignon testimonial. The choice did not fall on a
handsome model and this is already a good thing. He is an Austrian actor called Christoph Waltz , he is sixty, has received two Oscar as best supporting, handsome, elegant, fashionable very self assured. The campaign is called << Meet the ultimate Dom Pérignon P2 Plénitude Deuxiéme>>. Not only photos, but also a 30 second video showing Waltz with eyes shut tasting the Champagne expressing, with his face the sensations created by the P2 while the notes of Beethoven’s the Choral” (the piece used as European anthem) underlines the intensity of the moment.
The clothes must also be noticed. The actor is wearing a black tuxedo and an embroidered shirt. Elegant and transgressive and, evidently trendy. Photos and video are rigorously in black and white, playing with Waltz’s enthusiastic expressions.
It seems an advert, not very convincing, even though perfectly similar to fashion and make up publicity.
Dom Pérignon P2 Plénitude Deuxiéme is a very particular Champagne created by the chef de Cave Richard Geoffrey. It sits at length on the yeast where it evolves towards extraordinary quality levels. After about eight years it is possible to carry out the degorgement with great results. However it is after 12-16 years that the Champagne reaches its second and sublime moment, here P2 reaches perfect harmony. Obviously it is possible to wait some more, up until twenty years with the yeasts but there is no fixed rule and the magical moments for the disgorging must be decided case by case. The 1998 vintage, that is already on sale costs about 330€ per bottle and is a real cult object for Champagne lovers. After these explanations the ecstatic expression by Cristoph Waltz during the tasting of Dom Pérignon P2 seam more understandable even though I feel that they are a bit “theatrical” and not very convincing. I would have preferred a video with Richard Geoffrey who is however less handsome, less famous, and maybe less able to influence the rich and party-loving P2clients