Laurent-Perrier is the biggest success story since World War II. The family firm was on the verge of going under in the early 1950s, but is now among the largest and most respected companies in all of Champagne.
RICHARD JUHLIN ON LAURENT-PERRIER The house was founded by Monsieur Laurent, a cooper from Chigny-les-Roses. His son married Mathilde Perrier, a stubbornly ambitious woman who really established the house. World War I strained to the limit the house’s chances of survival, as several of the appointed heirs were killed. Marie-Louise de Nonancourt bought the firm just as World War II broke out, and her son, whom she had groomed to run the company, was killed in that war. Her other son, Bernard, survived despite playing a leading role in the Resistance, and later returned home to take over the business. Today, Laurent-Perrier is part of a holding company that controls several other famous wine-producers in France, including the Champagne houses Salon, Delamotte, Lemoine, and De Castellane. Laurent-Perrier themselves own only 100 hectares but have contracts with growers covering around 800 hectares. The chef de cave Michel Fauconnet is known for his clinically clean cuvées, where oxidation is avoided at all costs. L-P is widely praised for their fruity and elegant cuvées. The nonvintage, rosé, Ultra Brut and the vintage wine are all faithful old servants.
The house’s real trump card is Grand Siècle—a wine that beautifully carpets even the most fastidious palate. A wonderfully complex, world-class Champagne.
Three versions of Oysters
Crème Ninon with loester ballotine
Pink graoefruit sorbet with fresh berries
THE MASTER CLASS
RICHARD JUHLIN ‘My friends loved to serve this champagne blind for me earlier on, when the aroma of superglue was distinct. Nowadays it is well-made with good structure and pure, elegant fruitiness. Alain Terrier has even succeeded in squeezing clean sheets into this wine of late. Almost burgundy barrel-ish in Paris in 2005, when it passed the oh so important 80-point mark for the first time. Worse quality in 2006, unfortunately. But better than ever in 2010.’ | 77p
Laurent-Perrier ‘Ultra Brut’
BJÖRNSTIERNE ‘Ultra Brut is always reliable. Laurent-Perrier is the pioneer of bone dry champagnes. The wine needs several years of bottle maturation to round off a certain sharpness and develop its chocolaty bouquet. Lovely maturity in the early 2000s. Wonderful later with the 2002 base. At the moment the 2007 base is showen wonderful.’ | 84p
2006 Laurent-Perrier ‘Millésime’
BJÖRNSTIERNE The 25h vintage made since 1955. Identical style in recent years. Very easy to recognize in blind tastings. More than the style of the vintage that characterizes the wine. Crispy, almost clinically clean polished style.
Laurent-Perrier ‘Grand Siècle’ (04/02/99)
BJÖRNSTIERNE ‘The 20th version of Grand Siècle. The house’s real trump card is Grand Siècle—a wine that beautifully carpets even the most fastidious palate. The ’02 gives structure, the ’04 Freshness & ’99 roundness. A wonderfully complex, world-class Champagne. This is a classic Grand Siècle with brilliant finesse, elegance, and breeding. The freshness is grand but never overbearing, the breadiness easily discernible but never dominating. The aftertaste is also impressively long, considering the youth and fleeting quality of the wine. Store a few years and welcome an even more enjoyable wine.’ | 94p
Laurent-Perrier ‘Rosé Brut’
RICHARD JUHLIN ‘Skin contact and 100% Pinot grapes together make a successful recipe for rosé. A light colour and a nose which is hard to describe and could only come from a major house. Complexity and finesse but no personality. The mineral-rich flavour is relatively long and pure. In September 2006 I received my first really impressively weighty Pinot bottle. Hope it will continue to improve.’ | 83p
2004 Laurent-Perrier ‘Grand Siècle Alexandra Rosé’
RICHARD JUHLIN ‘They have got it right at last! Tastes like a perfect blend of Dom Ruinart Rosé and Dom Pérignon Rosé. Great and stunning with Corton-like silkiness and pumped-up Pinot fruitiness.’ | 90p