What is a vintage champagne?

When the perfect climate meets an exceptional terroir, and nature’s bounty is guided by an expert hand… the prospect of a vintage champagne comes to light.

But what exactly is a vintage champagne? What are the differences between vintage and non vintage champagne? Find out how Perrier-Jouët Cellar Master Séverine Frerson crafts these iconic champagnes.

Vintage champagnes

The promise of vintage

The champagne story starts out in the vineyards, in the heart of the legendary Champagne region in Northwest France. Combining unique limestone soils with a climate shaped by both Oceanic and Continental influences, this terroir gives the grapes everything they need to thrive. Depending on where they are planted, the grape varieties will express different facets of this terroir. The weather also plays a role in shaping their aromatic profile.

The Perrier-Jouët vines are tended with loving care all year round, with particular attention devoted to the choice of harvest date. As summer draws to

Severine Frerson

The art of blending

In order to create a new champagne, Séverine Frerson meticulously selects & blends the year’s finest wines, plot by plot & variety by variety.

The blend is completed with a carefully chosen proportion of reserve wine– wines of proven quality from previous years, held back for this purpose– in order to achieve absolute consistency, year after year. The process of creating a vintage champagne represents Séverine's one-off interpretation of an excellent harvest

The Art of the Vintage

When a rigorous tasting of the still wines confirms the exceptional quality of a given growing season, the decision to declare a vintage is confirmed. A vintage cuvée is thus created using grapes harvested not only from the House’s finest vineyards, but also in a specific year. This is what distinguishes a vintage cuvée from a non vintage champagne. Renowned for their ageing potential, each of these uniquely complex and infinitely nuanced champagnes is a distinctive expression of Chardonnay’s personality and potential. Vintage champagnes are the ultimate embodiment of Perrier-Jouët’s style and know-how.

The rules of the appellation dictate that vintage champagnes must be laid down in the House’s cellars for at least three years. That equates to approximately 1,000 days, which explains the origin of the French term millésime (mille = thousand) used to distinguish these exceptional wines. At Perrier-Jouët, the Belle Epoque vintage champagnes are actually aged for a minimum of six years, and some spend as long as seven years in the House’s cellars. Only when they begin to express their full aromatic potential does Séverine Frerson allow them to leave the cellar, ready to be tasted.

The Belle Epoque

The Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque collection – comprising Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Blanc de Blancs, Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque and Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Rosé – embodies the House’s unique mastery of the art of vintage champagne.
Discover the vintage range
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