From People: “There’s a reason to celebrate at Miraval this week!
The French chateau, whose owners Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have produced award-winning rosés since 2012, has finally unveiled its next release — and PEOPLE has all the exclusive details and photos.
First announced in January, the limited release rosé Champagne, called Fleur de Miraval, will debut in U.S. markets on Oct. 15.
“For me,” Pitt explains to PEOPLE, “Champagne conjures up feelings of celebration, quality, prestige, and luxury. But rosé Champagne is still relatively unknown. Backed by our success with Miraval in Provence, I wanted us to try to create the defining brand of rosé Champagne, focusing all our efforts on just this one color.”
Created by the unique and preferred ‘saignée’ method, Fleur de Miraval (which by French law must be made within the heavily delimited northeastern Champagne department or it cannot be called ‘Champagne’) is the result of a five-year-long project, long shrouded in secrecy.
“The result is spectacular and I’m very proud of it,” adds Pitt, who was in Miraval this past weekend in part to finalize details on the Champagne’s limited first edition release which consists of 20,000 bottlings. He also participated in the 1200 acre estate’s yearly harvest as he has in previous years.
Creating Fleur de Miraval required a marriage of growing regions and techniques, and represents an entirely new Champagne house created by three families: Jolie and Pitt, their rosé partners the Famille Perrin, and the Champagne regions’ Peters family.
Arriving in a dramatic pink rosé coffret packaging holding a classically slender black Champagne bottle, lacquered black to prevent damage by sunlight. It’s extremely simple label indicates its originating village name, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, a Cotes de Blanc site where the Peters family has owned vineyards for six generations.
The family’s own highly-respected Rodolphe Peters Champagne is sold in over 70 countries.
Aged for three years on the lees of the Peters caves, Fleur was created employing the saignée technique, a unique rosé-making process offering optimal quality. Once particular to Provence, France, saignée is the preferred method of creating rosé as it builds better, bolder wine by “bleeding” away a portion of pressed grape juice from contact with the mash.
Longer pressed grapes remaining in contact with seeds and skins, create darker juice, best suited for red wine. The saignée method, drawing off the juice before it deepens is ‘old school’, more painstaking and one with extreme devotees in the Loire, Rhone and Napa regions.
Fans of vintage and premium rosé Champagnes will discover that Fleur’s 75 percent chardonnay, 25 percent young pinot noir blend possesses a subtle petal pink color, notes of fresh raspberry and currants and a slight associated salinity.
Entering a developing field of ‘premium’ Champagnes is not an inexpensive proposition and bottles of Fleur de Miraval are expected to reach the market at 330 Euros (approximately $390) per bottle. The price is comparable to the cost of other ‘celebrity’ Champagnes such as JAY-Z’s Ace of Spades or 50 Cents’ Chemin du Roi partnership.
Pitt is well prepared for the comparison. He has called Chateau Miraval his second home since 2008, he has invested in its production capability. In the eight years since the first award-winning Miraval rosé, he has done much to raise rosé’s profile worldwide while assiduously investing in Miraval’s production, regularly expanding its line with new vintages.
“Miraval isn’t a ‘celebrity’ wine for me,” Pitt says. “Above all, it’s a wonderful, exceptional estate that I fell in love with, and that I continue to invest in to make it one of the finest estates in Provence. For the wine, I partnered with the Perrin family. They have been winemakers for five generations. Together, we’re in it for the long term. It’s not just a passing trend.”
Pitt and Jolie found the property in 2008 (they finalized the purchase in 2012) and while their 2016 separation fueled speculation they would put their 1200-acre French estate up for sale, sources have consistently told PEOPLE they remain committed to the property, viewing it as “an investment for their children.”