AN IMPORTANT DUAL LEGACY
Hervé Deschamps leaves Maison Perrier-Jouët with a dual legacy. The first is immaterial. Throughout his career at Perrier-Jouët, he has cultivated an entirely new dimension of the cellar master’s role – that of ambassador – which has become a blueprint for many champagne houses. He has tirelessly crisscrossed the globe, significantly raising the international profile of the House. His personality and passion for his craft have enabled him to connect with wine experts and amateurs around the world beyond the barriers of language and culture. The second legacy, more tangible, is just as impressive. Hervé Deschamps created two emblematic cuvées – a vintage Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Blanc de Blancs and a classic Perrier-Jouët Blanc de Blancs. Together, they crystallise the House’s historic savoir-faire in revealing the quintessence of Chardonnay.
Nature is the origin of life, a harmony in movement. I look for inspiration in nature, particularly in flowers, to enrich the notes I perceive during tastings.
A CONNECTION WITH NATURE
Hervé Deschamps shares with the founders of Maison Perrier-Jouët a love of botany. Drawing upon his encyclopaedic knowledge of the subject, he describes the flowers and fruit specific to each Perrier-Jouët cuvée with unaffected ease and laser-like precision. A keen gardener, he takes pride in cultivating two varieties of Japanese anemone, one pink, one white, the latter being the very flower represented by the Art Nouveau master Emile Gallé on the bottles of Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque.
A SENSORY READING OF WINE
When Hervé Deschamps tastes wines, the first sense that he uses is sight, to evaluate the colour, the liveliness of the wine and the size of the bubbles. He can tell a great deal by looking at a champagne – whether it is old or young, for a start. Next, he uses his sense of smell. For him, this is the sense that is richest in emotions and evocations. It allows him to understand the wine. Finally, his taste buds provide a complement to the notes he has perceived or not perceived with his nose, as well as information about the fullness, structure and personality of the wine. For Hervé Deschamps, a successful tasting is one that is remembered.
My favourite cuvée is Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Blanc de Blancs. It has all the freshness and purity which I look for in a champagne.