Magnums only. 50% Chardonnay from Avize, Cramant, Oger, Chouilly (but not Mesnil-sur-Oger because of August hail) and 50% Pinot Noir from Verzy, Mailly, Ambonnay and Bouzy. Disgorged on 22 April 2021. 7 g/l dosage. Fairly wet summer but saved by a fine September.
Deep honeyed gold. Clearly fully mature with a deep, resonant, somehow mineral/burnished metal nose. Very serious. A rich start but a super-appetising dry finish. Complex with a note of lime and yet richness too. Utterly beguiling. Long. Just the right amount of appetising mousse.
Drink 2022 - 2027
Jancis Robinson, jancisrobinson.com (Apr 2022)
About this WINE
Laurent Perrier was founded by André Michel Pierlot in 1812 but it is the Nonancourt family who made it the famous Champagne house it is today. Bernard de Nonancourt created Laurent-Perrier’s house style centred on freshness, finesse and elegance. Lucie Pereyre is now the 4th generation dedicated to Grand Siècle.
Laurent-Perrier believe that only assemblage can offer what nature cannot: the perfect year. Thus, Grand Siècle was born. The vintage years chosen for Grand Siècle are selected carefully by the Cellar Master. The ageing differs according to the iteration and the format.
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.