Co-operative champers outshines competition

16 May 2013

The Co-operative’s own-brand champers has scooped Gold medals at the prestigious International Wine Challenge 2013, beating off stiff competition from other top-class Champagnes from leading brands and knocking spots off fizz from rival retailers.

The community-based retailer’s stunning own-brand Les Pionniers Vintage 2004 Champagne collected Gold for the third year running, while The Co-operative’s  Les Pionniers NV Champagne also picked up Gold.

Both Champagnes, named after The Co-operative’s founders, the Rochdale Pioneers, were carefully made by the legendary Régis Camus at Piper Heidsieck. The Co-operative Les Pionniers NV is now on offer at £16.99 from £19.99 (from 15 May to 4 June, 2013, inclusive) - perfect for customers looking to sample the gold-standard champagne.

Judges, which included Co-chairman Charles Metcalfe, said that the “fruit-driven” Vintage Champagne, £26.99, was ”immediately appealing” and was “youthful but rich with sensational acidity”.

The “powerfully effervescent” Non-Vintage Champagne, has ”a lovely complex nose of butter and toast, followed by intense palate of melon and citrus flavours” according to the judges 

Another own-brand IWC medal winner is The Co-operative Explorer’s Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012, which picked up Bronze and is also on offer at £7.99 from £8.99 (from 15 May to 4 June, 2013, inclusive).

Meanwhile three other wines exclusive to The Co-operative were also among the medal winners, making it a total of six gongs for the convenience retailer.   

Ben Cahill, The Co-operative Champagne buyer, commented: “Our Champagnes have knocked spots off the competition, reflecting our commitment to providing Co-operative shoppers with great-value, exceptional wines from around the world.

“We work hard to ensure the high quality of our wine range, and to have our Champagnes recognised in this way is a fantastic seal of approval.”

In its 30th year, the International Wine Challenge is regarded as the world’s finest and most meticulously judged competition, attracting thousands of entries every year. The IWC assesses every wine “blind” and judges each for its faithfulness to style, region and vintage.  Each medal winning wine is tasted on at least three separate occasions by a minimum of 10 different judges.

The Co-operative IWC award winners:

  • The Co-operative Les Pionniers Champagne 2004, £26.99 - Gold
  • The Co-operative Les Pionniers Vintage Champagne NV, £16.99 from £19.99 (from 15 May to 4 June 2013, inclusive) - Gold
  • The Co-operative Explorer’s Vineyard Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc £7.99 from £8.99 (from15 May to 4 June 2013, inclusive) - Bronze
  • Rustenberg SWB 2011 (exclusive to The Co-operative), £9.99 - Silver
  • Stonehaven Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (exclusive to The Co-operative), £7.99 - Bronze
  • La Casa Rueda Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (exclusive to The Co-operative), £6.99 - Bronze

For further information, samples and images please contact:
Lauren Wood, Assistant Public Relations Officer, The Co-operative Group
Tel: 07714061961 Email: