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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.
The next most exceptional vintage since 2008. A truly difficult growing season saw severe frosts in the winter. March brought warmth but early budbreak made the vines vulnerable to spring frosts. Overall, the early growing season was wet, and mildew became a serious issue. However, conditions improved dramatically in the later summer months. An August heatwave resulted in a rapid accumulation of sugar, but fortunately the nights remained cool, which helped to preserve acidity. Although yields were low (averaging at 9,210 kg/ha) due to frost, hail and disease early in the season, the 2012 harvest was exemplary in its maturity, acidity and grape health. A rare high acid, high sugar September harvest with impeccable concentration of flavour and refreshing vibrancy. Pinot Noir is the superstar of the vintage, though Pinot Meunier excelled too. A vintage that promises great longevity for the finest cuvées, it was widely declared by producers. However, Krug decided to invest in its reserve wines on this great year, and no Vintage was produced. The quality of 2012 is universally high, with the greatest releases so far including Louis Roederer Cristal and Cristal Rosé, Bollinger La Grande Année and La Grande Année Rosé, as well as Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Rosé.