- An excellent and masterful multi-vintage blend
- The Iconic Presitge Cuvée from the Laurent Perrier House
- Pair with Caviar, Lobster, or something Truffled
When De Nonancourt conceived a prestige cuvée in 1955, there were only three prestige champagnes, and all were vintage cuvées. His grandfather had instilled in him that champagne was not about vintage – that the great years possessed structure, finesse and elegance, but not always all three, hence the need to blend. His vision was therefore to produce a prestige cuvée in his style, a multi-vintage able to maintain consistent quality.
This he achieved by blending only grand cru fruit from the best crus in the finest years. Fifty-five years on, his recipe remains. It’s a blend of select plots, comprising 60% of the youngest vintage of more pinot noir than chardonnay, with two older vintages contributing more chardonnay than pinot. The glorious age of the blend places it among the oldest champagnes on the shelves. Sadly, the consumer is oblivious to all this, as the bottle gives no clue to either its disgorgement date or its splendid maturity.
Even the Laurent-Perrier website declares only 7–8 years of maturity, when the truth is close to double. Despite a huge internal debate, the house refuses to budge on this. Such archaic secrecy makes managing collections a challenge, which is a shame, as Grand Siècle ages magnificently, long beyond its release. A full, bright straw hue with gold tints, this is a cuvée that boldly declares its maturity in both colour and character, brimming with luscious layers of crème brûlée, toasted meringue, tarte tatin, ginger, honey, blood orange and fig.
A seamless and harmonious blend, it leads with the elegant finesse and youthful endurance of 2004 and continues with the depth and definition of 2002, bolstered by the richness of 1999. Ageing slowly and confidently, more than 12 years on lees has built a silky, creamy mouthfeel that contrasts layered, salty chalk minerality and subtle, well- gauged phenolic bite. It holds excellent length and line, nudging at tertiary complexity of toffee.
Idiosyncratic and distinctive, at once lusciously decadent and at the same time elegantly strict, this is signature Laurent-Perrier and characteristic La Grande Siècle. Distinguished, refined and immediately alluring, this is a release to drink in the next few years.
55% chardonnay from Avize, Cramant and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, 45% pinot noir from Ambonnay, Bouzy and Mailly-Champagne; 2002 and 1999 reserves; aged more than 12 years on lees; 7g/L dosage; cork