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Laurent-Perrier has chosen to make vintages very rarely, only selecting the very best years. This makes Laurent-Perrier Vintage a rare and outstanding wine that clearly expresses the specific character of a year albeit in the Laurent-Perrier style.
The Brut Millésimé
To ensure that the outstanding quality of its Brut Millésimé is a revelation, Laurent-Perrier has made the rigorous choice of declaring only the greatest years as vintage years, those with a truly unique character. The most recent such year was 2002.
Laurent-Perrier Brut Millésimé fully expresses the specific characteristics of the year, interpreted in the signature House style, regardless of the vintage.
Vinification & ageing
At the time of tasting the still wines, the Chardonnays were fresh and intense, with exotic citrus aromas; the Pinots Noir proved to be powerful, with ripe fruit aromas.
In the unique chardonnay and pinot noir crus, only the 'cuvée' is used in the blends.
Laurent-Perrier Brut Millésimé is a very intense wine which has benefitted from seven long years of cellar-ageing for bottles, with an additional two years for magnums.
Champagnes are generally not laid down, but the search for a subtle balance between liveliness and maturity makes Laurent-Perrier's vintage wines ideal for laying down, even after shipping from its cellars.
A difficult start to the year led to early budbreak. There were some damaging hailstorms in early May, but the frost ultimately stayed away. The summer was overall warm and thanks to the hot and dry August, the grapes looked promising for the harvest. However, a damp September challenged producers and dilution was an issue for some. The 1999 harvest that started on September 15th produced a large yield (12,989 kg/ha) of sweet grapes that resulted in soft wines, low in acidity, which produced Champagnes that, in many cases, miss linearity and structure. Voluptuous and enjoyable with ripe, fruity, even exotic characters but in most cases for the medium-term only, even if the best seem to be maturing better than initially expected. The red wines of the year were exceptional and resulted in some outstanding prestige cuvée rosés, such as Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé, Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Rosé and Bollinger La Grande Année Rosé.