Alas, poor Pommery: the perfect illustration of how little a brand is worth and how fragile its existence becomes once it is severed from the family and vineyard roots that created it in the first place. Traded by LVMH in the same way that Lanson was traded a decade ago, with 400 ha of vineyards amputated from the rest of the body and shared between Moet and Veuve Clicquot; the purchaser is the commercially successful but qualitatively disappointing Vranken Monopole group (which also owns Heidsieck Monopole).
The stocks in Pommery’s cellars vary from the callow Brut non-vintage (called Brut Royal) to the serious and carefully crafted Louise cuveés. Pommery’s graceful, charming, sketch-book style, of course, blinks a little when dragged into the limelight and compared with obvious regional thunderers such as Bollinger; yet the non-vintage Apanage, the Summertime Blanc de Blancs, and the Wintertime Blanc de Noirs have all managed, in recent years, to combine depth with that grace and charm, and the vintage wine (a Grand Cru here) is quietly and consistently excellent, beautifully blended space(in his trademark yellow scarf) by the dapper Prince Alain de Polignac. Let’s hope all of this remains sacrosanct under Vranken’s administration. Andrew Jefford - 'The New France'