Reims, Février 2022
Large bottles already existed in Pierre Chanoine’s time
Champagne in large bottles is an old story. The larger bottles have existed since the 18th century.
King Louis XV, to whom champagne owes so much, first authorised the transport of Champagne wines in bottles in 1728. Then in 1735 — barely five years after Pierre Chanoine founded his House in Épernay — a new royal decree precisely defined the containers and their weight.
This was the famous Déclaration du Roi portant règlement pour la fabrication des Bouteilles et Caraffons de verre (Royal Decree Regulating the Manufacture of Glass Bottles and Carafes), registered with the Parliament and published on 8 March of the Year of Our Lord 1735.
The champagne bottle is defined as containing a “pinte, in Paris measure” (0.952 of a modern litre). The same decree provided for halves and quarters of that capacity, as well as glass bottles in double capacities and beyond.
Victorian England loved the large bottles
From the late 19th century, magnums and double magnums were identified and had capacities that were very close to those of today — respectively 145 to 150 cl and 290 to 300 cl. These were in fact multiples of the 75-cl “Bordeaux” bottle, which had become the standard size with the Regulation of 1866; the Champagne bottle of the time contained 80 cl.
During that prosperous era, magnums and double magnums were much in demand for luncheons and parties, receptions and banquets such as the ones given on the occasion of horse races like Epsom and Ascot.
The Jéroboam, baptised in the 1950s
Only after the Second World War did the double champagne magnum gain the name jéroboam. This was doubtless by analogy with the usage in Bordeaux.The name was already being used by Bordeaux wine merchants in the 18th century. In any case it is of biblical inspiration — Jeroboam was the first king of Israel, who would have reigned at the start of the first millennium BCE.
During the same period, in the 1950s, the larger bottles were also named along the same biblical lines, and the triple magnum or rehoboam and the quadruple magnum or mathusalem appeared.
There were sometimes even more imposing bottles, such as the salmanazar, balthazar and nabuchodonosor, which contain respectively 6, 8 and 10 magnums or 9, 12 and 15 litres of champagne!
Tsarine in magnums and jéroboams
At Chanoine Frères, magnums are produced in the same way as the standard bottles. The bottles are filled directly at the time of tirage or drawing-off. Magnums of Tsarine are then aged between 24 and 36 months in the House's cellars, four years for Tsarine by Adriana and up to five years in the case of the Tzarina magnum.
Jéroboams are also filled at drawing-off time and aged in the cellars for three to four years from the date of filling.
To celebrate very special moments — receptions and holidays, weddings and christenings, births and special birthdays and anniversaries — Tsarine in Magnum (150 cl) and Jéroboam (300 cl) format is now available on the House’s online shop:
and, presented in a wooden case: