Very cold winter, then spring frosts, then storms with some hail. Good flowering and a very hot August. 50% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir selected from a wide range of top crus. Disgorged 22 April 2021. Dosage 7 g/l. Only in magnum.
Magnum. Intense lemon-yellow colour. Really quite mature, candified nose yet with marked citrus acidity on the palate. It tastes more marked by Chardonnay than by Pinot. Zesty and refreshing. Medium finish that does build to quite a sweet note on the very end, but it's perhaps just a little too austere at this point to be truly seductive.
Drink 2022 - 2034
Jancis Robinson, jancisrobinson.com (Jun 2022)
About this WINE
Laurent Perrier was founded by André-Michel Pierlot in 1812 in the village of Tours-sur-Marne. However, it was the Nonancourt family who made this the famous Champagne House it is today. Bernard de Nonancourt, a veteran of the Second World War, took charge of the firm aged just 28. He is credited with creating Laurent-Perrier’s house style, centred on freshness, finesse and elegance. Today, Lucie Pereyre de Nonancourt is the fourth generation of the family here.
Laurent-Perrier is unique in that its prestige cuvée, Grand Siècle, is a multi-vintage blend rather than a vintage Champagne. Each “iteration”, as they call their new releases, is produced from three vintages, carefully selected by the Cellar Master.
In 2023, Maximilien Bernardeau was appointed Cellar Master, following in the footsteps of the long-serving Michel Fauconnet.
Brut denotes a dry style of Champagne (less than 15 grams per litre). Most Champagne is non-vintage, produced from a blend from different years. The non-vintage blend is always based predominately on wines made from the current harvest, enriched with aged wines (their proportion and age varies by brand) from earlier harvests, which impart an additional level of complexity to the end wine. Champagnes from a single vintage are labelled with the year reference and with the description Millésimé.
Non-vintage Champagnes can improve with short-term ageing (typically two to three years), while vintages can develop over much longer periods (five to 30 years). The most exquisite and often top-priced expression of a house’s style is referred to as Prestige Cuvée. Famous examples include Louis Roederer's Cristal, Moët & Chandon's Dom Pérignon, and Pol Roger's Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill.
Which grapes are included in the blend, and their proportion, is one of the key factors determining the style of most Champagnes. Three grapes are used - Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier.
26% of vineyards in Champagne are planted with Chardonnay and it performs best on the Côtes des Blancs and on the chalk slopes south of Epernay. It is relatively simple to grow, although it buds early and thus is susceptible to spring frosts. It produces lighter, fresher wines than those from Burgundy and gives finesse, fruit and elegance to the final blend. It is the sole grape in Blancs de Blancs, which are some of the richest long-lived Champagnes produced.
Pinot Noir accounts for nearly 40% of the plantings in Champagne and lies at the heart of most blends - it gives Champagne its body, structure, strength and grip. It is planted across Champagne and particularly so in the southern Aube district.
The final component is Pinot Meunier and this constitutes nearly 35% of the plantings. Its durability and resistance to spring frosts make the Marne Valley, a notorious frost pocket, its natural home. It ripens well in poor years and produces a soft, fruity style of wine that is ideal for blending with the more assertive flavours of Pinot Noir. Producers allege that Pinot Meunier lacks ageing potential, but this does not deter Krug from including around 15% of it in their final blends.