Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Champagne, France
The Champagne Grand Brut Cuvée by famous winery Perrier-Jouët is a blend of 50 different Crus, or vineyard sites (around different villages) aimed according to the producer at expressing “the quality and diversity of the House winemaking tradition. Its assemblage creates a balance between the consistency of the Perrier-Jouët style and the effects of the climate of the year.”
The blend includes a 20% Chardonnay from top vineyards in the Côte des Blancs area, a 40% Pinot Noir sourced from the Montagne de Reims and the Vallée de la Marne, and a 40% Pinot Meunier from the Vallée de la Marne and from Crus in the Aube region such as Les Riceys, to provide further upfront and round fruitiness to the wine.
12 to 20% of reserve wines are used, that is to say wines kept aside and matured from previous vintages.
The dosage (added sugar at bottling) is at 8 to 11 grams per litrer depending on the year, and the bubbly is generally aged on lees for at least 2 years.
This Champagne comes in a bright, clear and shiny lemon-yellow color, of medium intensity. Nothing outstanding about the appearance of this wine, but it does have a shiny aspect, looking much like the fruit it would have been made from, which provides somewhat of a glamorous appeal to it.
The nose is dominated by floral notes of lily, as well as aromas of fresh white fruit such as pear, white peach, and litchi. Perhaps will you sense a hint of coconut. Certainly, there is an impression of creaminess coming through, giving the aromatic profile further suavity.
Elegant and fruity, are the two words clearly coming to mind at smelling the Grand Brut.
No obvious oak, no nutty oxidative character. Just clean pure fruit expression, yet with an unpalpable depth…
The palate is inhabited by the same characteristics, a lively mineral acidity catching on to your taste buds as soon as you put the wine in your mouth. Not an aggressive one, don’t get me wrong. But rather a sharpened salty acidity that allows for a big burst of lemon, subtle passion fruit, and white peach flavors to literally explode on the palate.
The whole is dry but perfectly and elegantly balanced like the finest fruit juice you’ve ever tasted, augmented by creamy bubbles. Add hints of honey and fresh hazelnut to the finish, with a hint of floral hay, for a Champagne that leaves a remarkably aerial yet lasting impression into your senses.
It simply leaves you wondering what sort of magic can provide such vibrancy of fruit character blended with absolute floral finesse.
If you visit Perrier-Jouet website, they say about their Grand Brut it is “a harmonious wine, elegant, with a delicate complexity.”
While it would be hard to find more meaningless words to describe a wine —we seem to have heard those so many times—, they do actually make some sense once you’ve experienced the Grand Brut cuvée.
Clearly, there is an absolute balance to the blend, providing a mineral and crisp citrusy feel, but at the same time round and smooth enough. More importantly, the fruity and floral expression of the Champagne grapes the wine was made from are perfectly expressed and respected in a sparkling that delivers pure and clear flavors without trying to overdo it with oak and/or too much leesy and brioche artifacts.
This elegant fruit indeed, comes delicately rounded, and perfected, by subliminal notes of cream and almond milk that are there and stick to your senses, like a fluffy enjoyable dream does…