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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 2002 harvest
A high-quality harvest with exceptional ripeness. The growing year saw very few weather incidents, low rainfall and a relatively mild winter. A few local spring frosts affected 38 communes to a greater or lesser degree.
Full flowering took place from 14-17 June in extremely favourable conditions. As the harvest got underway, a period of unexpected sunshine tempered the effect of the plentiful late-August rainfall.
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. It was decided at that point to declare 2002 as a vintage year.
In the unique chardonnay and pinot noir crus, only the 'cuvée' is used in the blends.
Laurent-Perrier Brut Millésimé 2002 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.
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.
A cold winter and a mild late spring cued for a perfect June allowing early and fast flowering. Outstanding weather conditions prevailed and the season went on without dramatic turns. Rains in August raised concerns regarding gray rot, but finally sunshine and dry conditions throughout September resulted in an abundant crop of largely healthy fruit (11,930 kg/ha). Dehydration due to wind further aided in achieving perfect ripeness and additional concentration. This, and the cool nights, helped in retaining fresh acidity and, despite the ripeness (10.3% potential alcohol), the wines did not suffer from heaviness or a lack of life. A near-perfect vintage, which produced balanced Champagnes consistently around the region. The best show an impeccable combination of freshness, power, structure and finesse. However, some have matured aromatically quicker than expected and are already past their peak. 2002 produced an abundance of spectacular champagnes, such as Dom Pérignon (the entire range), Krug Vintage and Clos du Mesnil, Piper-Heidsieck Rare, Louis Roederer Cristal and Cristal Rosé, Ruinart Dom Ruinart and Dom Ruinart Rosé, Salon Le Mesnil and Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, to name a few.