BELLE EPOQUE 1996
Mature and yet fresh.
A surprising paradox and an unexpected duality.
The patina of time.
WINE MAKING NOTES
A STUNNING ILLUSTRATION OF THE ART OF THE VINTAGE ACCORDING TO PERRIER-JOUËT
A rare vintage, consigned for many years to the silence of the Perrier-Jouët cellars, an authentic expression of a tradition handed down since 1811.
The House has perpetuated the art of the vintage ever since 1811. It first selects choice wines from remarkable years and then consigns these rare vintages to the silence of its cellars. While each in turn possesses the particular character of its year, they all illustrate the outstanding quality of the Perrier-Jouët vineyards. 65 hectares, ranked at 99.2% on the scale of grands crus. The vineyards are situated in "Champagne's magic triangle", a perfect location that lends the chardonnays great maturity, with generous aromas of white flowers, similar to the swirl of Japanese anemones on the bottle designed by Emile Gallé in 1902.
A character magnified by the expertise of the House, developed over more than two centuries, by no more than seven Cellar Masters. Each was trained by the previous Master, like craftsmen jealously handing down their manufacturing secrets from father to son, thus ensuring the longevity of the distinctive style that characterises Perrier-Jouët. Hervé Deschamps, the current Cellar Master and guardian of this precious expertise since 1993, spent ten years working alongside his predecessor before mastering the subtleties of the House style and its unique floral tonality. Viewing each cuvée as a unique work of art, Deschamps fashions and sculpts, with a craftsman's attention to detail, each of the wines that make up the composition of his creations, in order to give full expression to the elegance and the finesse of Perrier-Jouët.
1996 was an exceptional year: despite a difficult climate, the must attained a perfect equilibrium of sugar and acidity and evoked a promisingly long-lasting perspective. This has now been confirmed in what is a particularly stunning cuvée. The composition comprised 50% chardonnays, the grands crus of Cramant, Avize et Chouilly; 45% pinot noir from the grands crus of Mailly, Aÿ, Verzy, Cerzenay and Bouzy; and 5% pinot meunier (Dizy, Hautvillers, Venteuil).
A prestigious wooden presentation casket, engraved with the iconic anemone and the vintage serves as the perfect showcase for this rare wine.
THE MOST SURPRISING AND RICHEST IN CONTRASTS OF ALL THE PERRIER-JOUËT VINTAGES
Maturity and freshness combine in a surprising and exceptional illustration of the Perrier-Jouët style.
For the first time since its foundation in 1811, the House of Perrier-Jouët has opened its doors to reveal some rare vintages, previously kept under a veil of near secrecy in its cellars. Hervé Deschamps has selected a few bottles from the Belle Époque cuvée that are now almost impossible to find: 1982, 1985 and 1996. They have lost none of their authenticity down the years and are a testament to a unique and unwavering style, renowned for its floral elegance and diamond-cut aromas.
“Unveiling these wines means sharing with others what I felt when creating them. These wines tell a story rich in human emotion.”
Hervé Deschamps, Cellar Master
The gaze is unerringly drawn to the subtly sparkling glints of the yellow robe, graced with fine and lingering bubbles.
A fine and delicate nose offers up aromas of mature, yellow and acidic fruits which quickly make way for aromas of candied citrus fruits and orange marmalade, before culminating in sweet buttered notes and a final flourish of milky caramel.
The palate is immediately struck by an acidic touch, whose lingering quality brings out the magnificent floral bouquet of the vintage.
"A precious stone to which time alone can lend its patina" Hervé Deschamps, Cellar Master.
BEAUTING: FOOD PAIRING
MATURE AND FRESH
A surprising paradox which will reveal its full duality with contrasting dishes.
In 1902, Emile Gallé designed a delicate spray of anemones to be engraved on the prestigious cuvées of Perrier-Jouët champagnes. The House has remained loyal to this artistic heritage ever since. The same tradition gave rise to Beauting: a vision of gastronomy which embraces Beauty and Good Food, turning each dish into a work of art, in perfect harmony with each cuvée. A unique sensory experience and a feast for the eye and the palate alike.
The unexpected duality of this rare vintage will unveil the riches of its universe best when complemented with fine poultry, served with sautéed mushrooms and creamed shallots. It will find a remarkable echo in the sharp sweetness of a duck breast in orange sauce.