philippe starck + louis roederer unveil champagne brut nature 2006




philippe starck delves into the world of champagne, collaborating with louis roederer on a cuvée. working together with the french producer’s cellar master jean-baptiste lecaillon, starck has developed a wine that transcribes his and lecaillon’s common taste for elegance, honesty and intelligence. ‘brut nature 2006’ was born from the fruit of one of louis roederer estate’s terroirs — a vineyard of 410 parcels that have been patiently cultivated by the house’s winegrowers and oenologiests, preserving and tilling the grape’s through soil amendments, pruning, leaf thinning, controlling their exposure to the sun. together, starck and lécaillon drew influences from river wines to develop a straightforward, medium-dry terroir-based vintage.

philippe starck louis roederer brut nature designboom
champagne brut nature 2006





champagnes are often complemented by a liqueur de dosage (composition of cane sugar and reserve), with certain vintages requiring less — or none at all. in envisioning the body and flavors of his champagne, starck was adamant about keeping his brew as non-dosed. this decision to avoid adding a liqueur de dosage was a result of the fact that in 2006, the pinot noir grapes from the cumières terroir were exceptionally mature and had an extremely rare depth of flavor and texture which the french designer wanted to leave untainted. the grapes had an extreme fruitiness and richness, and the cellar master decided to allow nature to take its course, consequently not adding any dosage. it was this fruit that was the core ingredient of this new wine developed with philippe starck.


philippe starck louis roederer brut nature designboom

louis roederer vineyard map





‘brut nature 2006’ is an intense pinot noir that expresses slightly spicy notes. complemented by some chardonnays, is is simple and pure; with a smooth and velvety structure combined with freshness and fruitiness of the grapes characteristic of louis roederer’s champagnes.

philippe starck louis roederer brut nature designboom



an interview with frédéric rouzeaud and philppe starck reveals more about the unique collaboration:



why did you both decide to work together?

frédéric rouzeaud: I had always admired—and still do—philippe’s creative genius, which I became acquainted with when I saw his restaurant and hotel projects. I appreciate his unique style, which strikes the right balance between respecting the location and great freedom in his approach. when I met him for the first time, I had no preconceptions—I was simply convinced that we could and should work together. and his declaration that he only drank non-dosé (non-dosed) champagnes coincided with—and motivated us to continue—a project we had been concentrating on since 2003, which involved developing a different kind of wine—a louis roederer cuvée based on a truly authentic terroir. hence, our ensuing collaboration was a very natural development.

philippe starck: other champagne houses had already contacted me, but I always turned down their offers because I felt there was something deceptive about selling a bottle marked ‘starck’ without a ‘starck’ contribution to the contents. I believe that with any project embarked upon, it is key to get to the heart of the matter, rather than skirt round the edges. if I had accepted to work only on the bottle’s exterior, I would not have achieved something truly authentic. so, for this cuvée, I decided to get involved in the wine making process itself to ensure that the final bottle would be the fruit of an honest process and a comprehensive collaboration in every way; I knew that this would be the only way to achieve total coherence between the design and the contents.

philippe starck louis roederer brut nature designboom
working on the terroirs of louis roederer’s vineyard




what exactly was your role in the production of the cuvée?

P.S.: initially, we discussed it at great length. I spent many hours describing my vision of the ideal champagne—a non-dosed version, of course; I created ‘chinese portraits’ and I told the story from different points of view, using very precise words that conjured up powerful images. and the cellar master and his teams managed to transform these words—which act as conveyers of concepts—and this abstraction into wine, through our tastings sessions. fortunately for me, jean-baptiste lécaillon masters two languages—that of words and that of wine.

F.R.: philippe provided his more emotional, creative vision of the wine. this was enriching for us, because it gave us the creative freedom that we lacked. by interpreting his words, philippe enabled us to go much further than we would have envisaged without his enlightening participation. the more precisely he described his vision the more precise we were able to be in producing the champagne. I remember him talking about a wine that was ‘stripped to the bone’, straightforward, and authentic—I distinctly recall these three descriptions. and his vision coincided with an approach that we had already adopted in 2003.

philippe starck louis roederer brut nature designboom
the grapes are carefully cultivated




what do you recall about your first tasting of brut nature 2006?

P.S.: it was an incredible experience: the cellar master had succeeded in ‘translating’ my words into champagne, tastes, aromas, liquid, and bubbles. we then attended a second session, at which point I gave my response: there was virtually no need to make any corrections, merely some fine adjustments. and when we tasted the finished product, it was quite a shock: I had been carrying round a mental ‘hologram’ of this champagne for months and now it was finally here and a reality. I wanted to create a champagne with a modern elegance, without losing sight of its history and roots, and this delicate equilibrium had been magnificently attained. I felt that we had reinvented champagne because we had achieved success on a number of levels: we had invented a method that consisted of ‘translating’ the concept of the wine and the words that describe it into the creation of the wine itself. both the champagne and its production were the result of a creative process.


F.R.: the initial tasting was indeed a moving experience. it was the materialization of the house’s long-standing philosophy—which is being perpetuated today by the foundation—, which involves a constant quest for creativity through research. the work of artists helps us to enrich our wines; brut nature 2006 is the perfect illustration of this influence, and is the fruit of several convergences: between a terroir with a remarkable year, and between our house and philippe starck, a creative genius and a free spirit.




philippe starck louis roederer brut nature designboom
frédéric rouzeaud, general manager of louis roederer with philippe starck





so, in fact, brut nature 2006 is a champagne produced by two pairs of hands?

F.R. and P.S.: spot on!



louis roederer champagne and philippe starck – brut nature 2006
video courtesy of louisroedereloeuvre


philippe starck louis roederer designboom