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Wine/Richard de Ayala Reims Champagne

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Question
Good afternoon,

I have a bottle of Champagne that I would like to know a bit more background of.  It must be at least fifty years old as it was bought for my gradmother and grandfather for their 25th wedding anniversary in around 1955.
The label states 'Richard de Ayala, Reims.  Brut cuvee Reservee. Product of France, Maison Fondee 1936.  Premiers et Grands Crus de Champagne especially selected and shipped by GF Grant & Co. Ltd, London SE1'.
It also has S.M. 8.697.089 C.G.C.

I have no idea about Champagnes so wondered if you have any more information.

Many thanks,

Kind regards,

Gina

Answer
Hi Gina,

There's a good outline of Champagne at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champagne and a history of Ayala at http://www.champagne-ayala.fr/en/history.

However I'm a bit confused by the S.M. in your question as the usual ones are:

NM: négociant-manipulant, one of the big houses/firms/négociants;
RM: récoltant-manipulant, a grower who makes his or her own wine;
CM: coopérative de manipulation, one of the co-operatives;
RC: récoltant-coopérateur, grower selling wine made by a co-op;
MA: marque d'acheteur, buyer's own brand - often called a BOB, and
SR: société de récoltant, a small family company

Your bottle would be way past its life, I'm afraid, so would only be worth opening for the experience and it has no value.

Regards,

David
.

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David Ling

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