Champagne Henri Giraud has announced the launch of Argonne 2008, a new vintage of its cuvée.

The packaging for this limited edition vintage has been designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban.

Working with only simple, natural materials, he has encased Argonne 2008 in a cardboard tube – one of the architect’s preferred materials – crisscrossed with cardboard batons that cradle the bottle.

Hand embossed in the Henri Giraud workshops and gilded in gold leaf by the artist Uwe Schaeffer, the packaging is inspired by the Far East. Enclosed within, a bottle also embossed with gold leaf, engraved and numbered.

Made exclusively from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Henri Giraud’s Grand Cru vines in Aÿ, Argonne 2008 has been crafted from grapes which have been weighed, tasted and tracked to the very vine. This policy of transparency can be seen on each bottle, coded and laser engraved at the time of bottling, and again at the moment of labelling.

As Argonne 2008 is made and aged in small barrels made of oak from the forest of Argonne, Champagne Henri Giraud selects each individual tree. They are all geo-localized and tracked in partnership with the French Forestry Commission (ONF) directly in the forest; each parcel is identified and branded by the cooper, and the staves are then assembled using buckwheat flour to avoid any traces of gluten.

Claude Giraud, president of Champagne Henri Giraud explains: “With Argonne 2008 we have entered a new dimension in wine. Rationality has given way to instinct and intuition. Plus, it has been an immense joy to work with Shigeru Ban, an outstanding individual with a passion for craftsmanship, fine materials and the noble gesture, who was able to perfectly capture the essence of this incredible wine in a box that is the epitome of purity. Argonne 2008 is an extraordinary achievement and an enthralling human enterprise that we are proud to present today. This craft, that our ancestors practiced no doubt by empiricism, is unique in the world. Thanks to our curiosity, we have combined science and experience with passion and expertise.”

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