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A single harvest, a single grape variety, a single terroir.
Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Blanc de Blancs champagne is not only the rarest Perrier-Jouët cuvée, but also the most emblematic – the culmination of the House’s 200-year expertise in revealing the intricate floral facets of its signature Chardonnay grape. Sourced from just two legendary parcels of vines, Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Blanc de Blancs is the expression of a single grape variety, a single terroir and a single year – a sublime champagne shimmering with golden light, whose freshness and purity are the exhilarating prelude to an explosion of lush floral notes.
Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Blanc de Blancs is crafted from 100% Chardonnay grapes from only two small parcels of vines – Bouron Leroi and Bouron du Midi – within Cramant, one of the most prestigious Grand Cru villages in the renowned Côte des Blancs. These two exceptional plots, covering just 6.8 hectares/16.8 acres, were among the first acquired by Maison Perrier-Jouët in the mid-19th century, when Charles Perrier, the son of the founders, used his extensive knowledge of viticulture and the terroirs of Champagne to identify their potential for yielding the supreme expression of the Chardonnay grape. Bouron Leroi and Bouron du Midi do indeed unite all the conditions necessary for revealing the unique floral character of Chardonnay. Set halfway up a gentle southeast-facing slope, they enjoy ideal exposure to the morning sun, while their chalky soil maintains constant levels of humidity throughout the year.
The small size of these prized plots, and Maison Perrier-Jouët’s meticulous approach to viticulture, mean that only a limited quantity of grapes can be produced in any given year, while a vintage is declared only in years of near-perfect conditions. Consequently, no vintage of Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Blanc de Blancs numbers more than 40,000 bottles.
Sweetness touched with a harmonious vivacity. Clear and bright. Opalescent with tinges of green and a persistent mousse.
Generous, yet also delicate aromas fill the nose: lilac blossom and young white fruits such as peach and grapefruit. Hints of orange confit, vanilla and cream bring a subtle richness to the bouquet.
The attack is fresh, racy and enticing. In the mouth it is delicate yet dynamic, with beautiful length that seduces the palate.
A great example of how large yields do not necessarily mean poor quality in Champagne. As a reaction to the previous year's low yields, the vines produced one of the largest crops on record. The growing season proceeded without major difficulties but the bumper crop called for bud thinning. August brought about cooler weather and some rains, increasing the risk of rot. The massive crop, averaging 13,990 kg/ha, was picked from September 18th onwards. The quality was a pleasant surprise; vibrant wines with appropriate intensity, refined charm and refreshing lightness. This vintage impresses me more and more, and I feel tempted to give it the full five stars. It comes with a rare balance of freshness, lightness, yet fine aromatic intensity. Post-release, this vintage has proven to be slow to age, and elegant wines are likely to keep on ageing gracefully. Dom Pérignon and Louis Roederer Cristal both excelled.