It’s always with a great sence of expectaions that Richard Juhlin unbox a new vintage of one of the true legends of Champagne. Today it was time to taste the new release 2013 Belle Epoque from Perrier-Jouët.
THE YEAR ACCOURDING TO PERRIER-JOUËT
‘A mild winter was followed by a cool, wet spring which resulted in the late blooming of the vines between 16th and 21st June 2012. The summer was hot and bathed in sunshine from mid-July all the way until the end of the harvest, favouring the maturity of the grapes. The rain only returned at the end of the harvest period. These excellent conditions produced an ideal balance between sugar and acidity, resulting in a wine of exceptional harmony, with great energy, character and potential.’
- COMPOSITION 50% Chardonnay 45% Pinot Noir 5% Meunier
- EMBLEMATIC CRUS Cramant, Avize, Ay, Mailly, Dizy
- DOSAGE 8 grams per litre
- MINIMUM AGEING Six years
- BEST SERVED TEMPERATURE around 12°C
‘Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque is a true icon — a rare and elegant champagne that celebrates the art of vintage and the excellence of the Perrier-Jouët vineyard.‘
HERVÉ DESCHAMPS former Chef de caves de la Maison Perrier-Jouët
2013 PERRIER-JOUËT ‘BELLE EPOQUE’
Richard Juhlin TASTING NOTE ‘Incredibly similar to how 2012 tasted exactly one year ago. Of course, I tasted them side by side when the new vintage was delivered by DHL to my home yesterday to be able to make the comparison. A little more citrus, a little less vanilla essence, but actually extremely twin-like in its beautiful Hervé Deschamp construction. A superbly beautiful slightly shy subtle perfume, fluffy creamy Cramant with light citrus, white flowers, powder box and caressing softness with a shower of dried strawberries beaten to a powder in a Pacojet. As always, a wonderful champagne to realax with on the soft sofa with Duke Ellington in the background. Jazz in a bottle!’
45pn 5pm 50ch
CHAMPAGNE CLUB ON PERRIER-JOUËT This domain was established in 1811 by Pierre-Nicholas-Marie Perrier-Jouët. The company became famous under its nickname P-J under the leadership of his son Charles. In 1950 Mumm bought a majority shareholding in the company and the domain became part of the Canadian Seagram Group. The domain was owned for a time by Allied Domecq who, as soon as they took over, alarmingly dug up large portions of the domain’s fine old vines at Cramant.
Michel Budin, who led the firm up until the 1980s, was a great admirer of Art Nouveau and opened a Belle Epoque museum in 1990, twenty years after launching the cuvée de prestige of the same name. Nowadays the company is owned by Pernod-Ricard. Jean-Marie Barillere is president at present and Hervé Deschamps is chef du cave. Belle Epoque has become a great success everywhere, and the Americans in particular have fallen for the flower-bedecked bottle.
The domain owns 108 hectares at seven villages, and the other 65 per cent of the grapes are purchased from forty villages. The most important village is Cramant, where the firm owns twenty-nine hectares of the very best slopes. In contrast to other big domains, the heritage has been managed well. The vines are very old and produce fantastic grapes that can dominate an entire cuvée, even if their proportion is small, and the delicate domain-style is very dependent on these Chardonnay grapes.
The vintage wine is a roasted classic, and both the Belle Epoque wines are a great source of joy to the romantic wine lover. The 1985 Belle Epoque Rosé was voted as the foremost rosé of all time at the Millennium Tasting. The aroma of the white 99 is somewhat feeble as yet, but very compact and coherently focused. The fruitiness is impressive and the vintage style reminds one not a little of the 89. The new Belle Époque Blanc de Blancs is exquisitely mellow and caressing with a colossal syrupy intensity made up of sweet basic tones that are at the same time lifted by lemon and juiciness. Sensual and fascinating. A 1998 Belle Epoque magnum was our engagement champagne at Lake Luzern in May 2012.