The Last Days of Erte

Courvoisier(R) Cognac, one of the world’s leading cognac brands, under the Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. [Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE:FO)], umbrella, announces the extremely limited U.S. release of the final remaining sets of the highly collectable and one-of-a-kind Courvoisier Erte Collection. Originally designed to blend two of the greatest pleasures in life – outstanding cognac and the eternal beauty of art – this extraordinary and rare Collection features seven limited edition bottles designed by the notably fabulous master of Art Deco, Erte. This Collection is a beautiful representation of Art Deco era style and contains the most precious and exquisite cognac blends from the House of Courvoisier. A paramount luxury masterpiece, The Courvoisier Erte Collection exemplifies the unparalleled craftsmanship of Courvoisier. Available this holiday season, it is the definitive, rare collectable for every discerning spirits, fashion and design connoisseur.

In an unprecedented relationship between an artist and a spirits brand, the Courvoisier Erte Collection was created exclusively for Courvoisier by Erte who was given artistic freedom with the design of the bottle itself and the seven inspired decorative bottle labels. In creating the Courvoisier collection, Erte — who was a famed artist in the art deco movement for over seventy years — immersed himself in the cognac making process and designed each vignette (bottle) in the series to represent the story of the cognac-making process.

To create the exceptionally smooth liquid luxury inside of the bottles, Courvoisier’s arbiters of cognac style and quality chose a very rare blend of the finest cognacs exclusively from the Grande Champagne region, including cognac dating back to 1892, the year Erte was born.

The following seven Courvoisier Erte bottles were originally released from 1988 to 1994, and beautifully illustrate the art of making cognac:

— Vigne (Vine), launched in 1988, shows Erte’s knowledge of the
importance of the soil and environment to the grapes produced to make
cognac. The connection between the earth and the grapes is established
transforming raw natural forms into pure elegance.
— Vendanges (Harvest) launched in 1989, celebrates the passion of
perfection for which Courvoisier is best known. Erte designed
bunches of grapes, bathed in sunshine, set aloft by a female figure
that could be Mother Nature herself offering up her greatest work, the
grape harvest.
— Distillation, launched in 1990, illustrates the process of
distillation as a woman riding a volatile giant peacock that appears
as a dragon-like beast just above a dancing flame.
— Vieillissement (Aging), launched in 1991, symbolizes the aging process
as a robed female emerging from darkness, displaying a series of oak
barrels through parted robes.
— Degustation (Tasting), launched in 1992, shows the blending process of
the cognacs. Personified playfully as a nude woman emerging from the
turbulent mixture of cognac, the mixture of the images is so complete
it’s difficult to tell where the liquid ends and the woman begins.
— L’Esprit du Cognac (The Spirit of Cognac), launched in 1993,
interprets the Spirit of Cognac as a woman standing majestically
surrounded by grapes in front of a pool of Cognac. Completing the
cycle from the grape growing to the end product, celebrating
Courvoisier and the art of producing cognac.
— La Part Des Anges (The Angels’ Share), launched in 1994, symbolizes
part of the aging process where some of the spirits’ volume is lost
through evaporation, referred to as angels’ share. Erte has seven
playful winged angels encircle a central female, each with an arm
stretched out to take their share of the cognac as it ages.

Today, less than twenty of the seven-piece sets as well as a limited number of individual bottles remain, and only eight are being released to the U.S. market. These last remaining bottles are available in the United States just in time for the 2008 holiday season. The 750ml bottles have a suggested retail price of $1,450 individually and $10,000 for the collection. As these precious bottles will not be available in the US until November, the Courvoisier Erte Collection can be pre-ordered now through 1-877-Spirits (www.1-877-spirits.com) for delivery just in time for the Holidays.

“Courvoisier has a rich history dating back to the Napoleonic era and is the only house to receive the Prestige de la France, France’s highest award for excellence. We continue this tradition of luxury by releasing the final bottles of the Erte Collection to the United States during the holiday season, the ultimate luxury gift giving occasion,” said Stacey Simmons, senior brand manager, Courvoisier Cognac. “While originally available over 20 years ago, we are now offering Courvoisier connoisseurs the final 8 sets of the Erte collection featuring some of the rarest blends we have in stock. Erte reveals the ‘Greatness Within’ Courvoisier and the craftsmanship that goes into all of our marquees.”

About Courvoisier(R)

Courvoisier(R) is one of the four leading cognac houses in the world and continues to excel in the spirits category with its renowned blends including VS, VSOP, Exclusif(TM), Napoleon, X.O., Initiale(R) Extra and Courvoisier(R) Succession J.S. L’Esprit de Courvoisier(R) is the world’s most-exclusive cognac, containing a masterful blend of vintages, including some dating back to the nineteenth century — the same used to apply to the court of Napoleon and Edward VII. Courvoisier reminds consumers to enjoy greatness responsibly(R). For more information about Courvoisier cognac and corporate responsibility visit www.cv-us.com.

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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