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  • Country ranking ?

    1 764
  • Producer ranking ?

    69
  • Decanting time

    15min
  • When to drink

    now to 2035
  • Food Pairing

    Chicken supreme with Morel mushrooms

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The success of champagne at the beginning of the twentieth century contrasted sharply with the problems of the region that assailed its production and those who worked there . The Belle Epoque was its golden age. It was a period of unbridled pleasure for the wealthy classes and a phenomenon occurred whereby champagne became synonymous with the celebrations that always involved flutes and coupes and which were what Comtesse de Pange called the last balls before the storm.

Champagne had managed to make itself indispensable. Youth rejoiced in it: it was perfect for enlivening spirits that had become dulled by an over abundance of pleasures; in his foreword to Emile Richardin's L'Art du bien manger (The Art of Eating Well) Lucien Tendret gives his advice to hosts, for those who sparkle with youth and gaiety, pour some good quality champagne, some iced Piper-Heidsieck or Roederer Cristal. It was the confidant of the ladies and the appointed companion of those men for whom opening a bottle of champagne was a virtue, provided that it was accomplished with grace (243). Turkish baths and hammam were fashionable and champagne was regularly served to men as part of the post bath relaxation ritual. Armand Lanoux specifies that certain foods and wines are rich and we praise them for their aphrodisiac properties. A scarlet woman, he continues, puts her glove in her flute of champagne. She laughs, "I feel a bit tipsy!" .

Grand society evenings multiplied and bottles of champagne were poured by their hundreds, or even by their thousands at, to list just a few of these Parisian events, Boni de Castellane's parties, who was the cousin of the founder of the champagne house of the same name, Princess Jacques de Broglie's Gem Ball, the Duchess of Gramont's Second Empire Ball, and the Comtesse de Chabrillan and the Comtesse de Clermont-Tonnerre's remarkable Persian parties. The couturier Paul Poiret recounts that one evening he found himself alone at a table with Isadora Duncan, the famous dancer, who would often perform without her flowing robes, and this worshipper of Bacchus had drawn him to her demanding champagne and kisses. The festivities were equally numerous in Dinard, La Baule, Biarritz, and above all on the Côte d'Azur where as an example amongst hundreds, Elisseïef, a joyous boyard (former member of the Russian aristocracy), a son and grandson of the kings of the food trade during the rule of the tsars, and an ogre when it came to festivities, had set up, in the centre of the table, a swan carved out of ice, heaped with a mountain of caviar, and swimming on a lake of champagne.

 

High society was even more cosmopolitan than in the previous century and for them champagne flowed in the spa towns of Germany, in the hunting lodges of Scotland and Slovakia, in Budapest and in Venice where Gabriel-Louis Pringué, at a dinner at which were present, amongst others Paul Bourget and Henri de Régnier, sat next to the pretty blonde Princess Ruspoli who, he wrote, loved champagne, adding that when she drank it , her witty eloquence became stunning . The tango appeared in France in around 1910 and, despite its South-American origins, was often accompanied by champagne; in a picture advertising Tea-Tangos at the Volney Restaurant, which appeared in the Vie Parisienne of the 20 December 1913, the only glasses visible on the tables are champagne coupes.

Champagne was still very popular at the races, but was also linked with the beginnings of the automobile. Michelin's famous slogan that its tyres drink up obstacles, was given a humorous twist in a drawing in the Assiette au Beurre that appeared on the 9 December 1904, in which the Michelin man arrives at the finish of a race and knocks over the judge's table in a flood of champagne; the caption reads, drinking up champagne.

The Belle Epoque was the kingdom of demi-monde celebrities such as Emilienne d'Alençon, Cléo de Mérode, and Caroline Otéro. They were feted by the grandest aristocracy, by Dukes and by Kings; the twenty-five year old Prince Ghyka, nephew of Queen Nathalie of Serbia, married Liane de Pougy who was forty-one. The life of these doe-eyed belles was inconceivable without champagne! It was now acceptable for ladies of good society to rub elbows with them in fashionable places where good taste and the finest luxuries were to be found. Everyone could thus dine out together and drink champagne in the restaurants that were à la mode.

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The Story

Since early years, the production of Belle Epoque has grown year after year. Belle Epoque Rosé was created in 1976. The excellent vintage of Chardonnay in 1993 inspired Hervé Deschamps, cellar master at Perrier-Jouët, to produce a small quantity of Blanc de Blancs:

-“The production is very small-scale – only one per cent of all Belle Epoque champagnes. The grapes are grown almost exclusively in one of our top vineyards in Cramant. Rosé makes up 8 per cent of the sales, and we hope to see that figure grow. Despite the larger volume we now produce, the production is still expensive: high levels of humidity and the way the bottles are piled take their toll on the gilding. The cost of a bottle without any contents is 10 euros!”

A multi-sensorial wine, made up of delicate and complex harmonies: a perfect balance between the character of the generous year and the House style.

Delicious with desserts that combine the fondant with the crunchy, its flavours will express themselves consummately if served between 10 and 12° (the temperature can also be slightly higher if accompanying a meal). If conditions allow, you may keep your Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Rosé 2004 for over ten years.

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Vintage 2005

 The 2005 vintage was a year of marked contrasts between seasons and regions. Following a fairly harsh winter, 2005 had a mild spring with relatively warm temperatures all year long. There was above average sunshine and a slight water deficit, as had been the case throughout the dry cycle of 2005/2004 and 2003. The heat and humidity in July produced larger grapes and bunches, rather unusually for the Champagne region, while the cooler weather in August, followed by a very sunny month of September, led to favourable ripening in spite of heavy parasite pressure. The harvest dates were “typical” of those of the decade: September 12th for Chardonnays and the following day for Pinots Noirs.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Tasting note

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Information

Origin

Épernay, Champagne

Vintage Quality

Excellent

Value For Money

Good

Investment potential

No Potential

Fake factory

None

Glass time

1h

Other wines from this producer

Belle Epoque

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Belle Epoque Vinothèque

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Blason Rosé

Cuvée Belle Epoque Edition Automne

Grand Brut

Grand Brut Millésime

Perrier-Jouët NV

Vintage

Inside Information

A HARMONIOUS AND ELEGANT VARIATION ON THE PERRIER-JOUËT STYLE

A multi-sensorial wine, made up of delicate and complex harmonies: a perfect balance between the character of the generous year that and  the House style.

Delicious with desserts that combine the fondant with the crunchy, its flavours will express themselves consummately if served between 10 and 12° (the temperature can also be slightly higher if accompanying a meal). If conditions allow, you may keep your Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Rosé 2004 for over ten years.

 

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Highlights

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