One of Japan’s biggest ever rock stars, Yoshiki heads legendary rock band X Japan and has even performed for the emperor, but his influence spreads well beyond music. A philanthropist who runs his own nonprofit public benefit organization, he has also been involved in various business ventures over the years, such as producing his own wine, launching a kimono line, designing glassware for French fine crystal manufacturer Baccarat and, earlier this year, partnering with Coca-Cola on two energy drinks. His latest endeavor is a collaboration with esteemed Champagne house Pommery to make some highly reputed bottles of bubbly.
On September 1 of this year, “Yoshiki x Champagne Pommery Brut” was launched. Within 10 minutes, the first 10,000 bottles allocated for release online had sold out. By the end of the first day, the entire import inventory, including pre-order sales from stores and restaurants, had gone. The much sought-after drink had broken a sales record for Pommery. Not a bad achievement considering the renowned French fizz house has been in business for more than a century and a half. This, though, is the first time that it has co-released a new label with a celebrity artist.
Discussions between the X Japan leader and the French company began in 2019. Since then, they have been working closely together to come up with the perfect drink. The result, according to the brand’s website, is a champagne with “exquisite brightness and delicate bubbles.” It also boasts a “delicate and rich flavor, with a round palette and a lingering long finish.” Aged for a minimum of 42 months in the bottle, it is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, sourced from 40 villages in the Côte des Blancs and Montagne de Reims.
There has been a buzz surrounding the product online with many comments on social media and several favorable reviews. The problem has been the fact that not enough of it was made to meet demand. The Pommery headquarters in France have subsequently decided to start increasing production in order to restart sales next year. The plan is to expand the number of locations handling the product, including major department stores, hotels, restaurants and wine shops. Yoshiki fans and Champagne lovers who missed out this time around will be hoping for better luck in 2023.
It’s not the first time an alcoholic beverage with the famed musician’s name on it has been difficult to get hold of. “Y by Yoshiki,” a wine brand created by the drummer and pianist in collaboration with fourth generation Napa Valley winemaker Robert Mondavi Jr, was first released in 2009. It sold out soon after being released, as did the succeeding three vintages under the same label, causing the media to call them “phantom wines.” Unsurprisingly, his latest item has already been described as the “phantom Champagne.”
“Pommery is a legend of the Champagne world, and I am so proud of our new line, Y by Yoshiki x Champagne Pommery,” says the musician. “We are blown away that our Brut Champagne had such unprecedented demand. We are trying hard to meet this. I hope you will love our masterpiece.”