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Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque is the original Belle Epoque vintage cuvée, first appearing in 1964. Instantly recognisable throughout the world, its bottle is adorned with the graceful spray of Japanese white anemones created for Maison Perrier-Jouët by Art Nouveau master Emile Gallé in 1902.
Working at the vat, plot by plot, the Cellar Master tastes and tests time and again, finally isolating the wines, turning each cuvée into a unique wine that expresses all the characteristic elegance and finesse of the House of Perrier-Jouët. "I throw myself into each composition with one combined effort, like the creative flow of an artist, at that moment when intuition, sensitivity and skill somehow inexplicably come together." Hervé Deschamps.
In 1902, Emile Gallé designed a delicate spray of anemones to be engraved on the prestigious cuvées of Perrier-Jouët Champagnes. The House has remained loyal to this artistic heritage ever since.
For Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque, Séverine Frerson specifically selects Pinot Noir grapes from two crus, Verzy and Mailly-Champagne, in the north of the Montagne de Reims, both characterised by their chalky soils. “Pinot Noir grapes from Mailly-Champagne in particular have an elegance and finesse that harmonise perfectly with our signature Chardonnay from Grand Cru terroirs in the Côte des Blancs,” she says. “They therefore enhance, rather than overwhelm, the delicate floral structure of the wine.” The result is an elegantly structured cuvée with a clear floral dimension, making Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque an outstanding example of the art of blending in the Perrier-Jouët style.
1985 Vintage - The Art of the Vintage according to Perrier-Jouët: elegance and finesse.
Pierre-Nicolas Perrier married Adèle Jouët in 1811 in Epernay, where they set up home. Ever since, the House has refused to compromise, going as far as to abandon production altogether in years of poor harvest. A number of wines from remarkable years have been selected and consigned to the silence of the cellars. And while each of these vintages has a distinctive character all of its own, they all without exception illustrate the excellence of the Perrier-Jouët vineyards. 65 hectares, ranked at 99.2% on the scale of qualitative wines, boasting the finest chardonnays on the Côte des Blancs. Exceptional vineyards, situated in "Champagne's magic triangle", mid-slope, facing South-Southeast. An exceptional location that lends the chardonnays great maturity, with generous aromas of white flowers and a subtly lingering bouquet.
The Belle Epoque cuvée is the authentic expression of its quality. Its freshness, elegance and subtle floral accents echo the spray of white anemones on its bottle, designed by Emile Gallé in 1902.
The vineyards have been passed down from generation to generation, enhanced by the expertise of the House. Hervé Deschamps, the 7th Cellar Master of the House of Perrier-Jouët fashions and sculpts each cuvée in time-honoured tradition, with extreme precision, testing each wine in turn, composing his creations in the process and thus bringing out the elegance and finesse of the floral, stylish and diamond-cut style that is the hallmark of the House.
In 1985, a harsh winter blighted the vineyards, but the splendid summer and autumn, plus a dose of patience, rescued a harvest that was as modest as it was superb. Fresh and elegant chardonnays, supple and generous
pinots noirs, charming and fruity pinots meuniers were blended into an exceptionally wrought wine, in the purest Belle Epoque style, combining the grands crus typical of the cuvée: 50% chardonnays (Cramant, Avize, le Mesnil/Oger, Vertus and Chouilly); 45% pinots noirs (Aÿ, Ambonnay, Bouzy, Mailly, Verzenay, Verzy, Chigny les Roses); 5% pinot meunier (Dizy, Hautvillers, Damery, Venteuil and Vincelles).
A prestigious wooden presentation casket, engraved with the iconic anemone and the vintage year, serves as the perfect showcase for this rare wine.
Severe winter temperatures and spring frosts did great damage, leaving many in the region unhopeful of a good year. The destruction was excessive especially in the northern Montagne de Reims, in the hillside vineyards west of Reims and in the Aube. The early summer weather did not raise the hopes, but finally fine September weather came to the rescue and yields ended up being better than feared (albeit tiny, 6,827 kg/ha) when picking commenced on September 30th. Champagnes from 1985 are typically beautifully balanced and intense with great length and character that is still improving today. Dom Pérignon, Charles Heidsieck Champagne Charlie and Blanc des Millénaires, Krug Vintage and Perrier-Jouët Belle Époque excelled, to name a few.