QUEST FOR PER­FEC­TION

DIS­COVER WHAT MAKES LAU­RENT-PERRIER’S CHAM­PAGNES SO SPE­CIAL, IN­CLUD­ING TWO OF THE HOUSE’S GREAT­EST SUC­CESSES: ITS GRAND SIÈCLE AND LA CU­VÉE

T. Dining by Singapore Tatler - - Laurent-Perrier Special -

In to­day’s fast-paced world of con­ve­nience, a rep­u­ta­tion for qual­ity must be earned through longevity—and renowned French win­ery Lau­rent-perrier acutely recog­nises this.

When Bernard de No­nan­court be­came chief ex­ec­u­tive of the com­pany in 1948, Lau­rent-perrier was a small cham­pagne house that pro­duced only 80,000 bot­tles an­nu­ally. How­ever, within a few decades, No­nan­court’s sin­gu­lar vi­sion built the win­ery into a ma­jor player in the cham­pagne world. His re­spect for na­ture shaped Lau­rent-perrier’s ex­cep­tional wines, with a unique style built around fresh­ness, purity and el­e­gance. These ven­er­ated val­ues have been passed down to the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion: his daugh­ters Alexan­dra Pereyre and Stephanie Meneux.

Some 70 years af­ter the No­nan­courts be­gan their cus­to­di­an­ship of Lau­rent-perrier, the wines con­tinue to show­case that same dis­cern­ing cre­ativ­ity, pur­suit of ex­cel­lence and quest for plea­sure. Each Lau­rent-perrier cre­ation con­tin­ues these tra­di­tions with flair—that much-her­alded bal­ance of fresh­ness, purity and el­e­gance runs through all of the house’s wines, with each of its cu­vées pos­sess­ing a dis­tinct his­tory and per­son­al­ity that sets them apart from the rest of the field.

It is the house’s win­ery that has been re­spon­si­ble for cul­ti­vat­ing this fine crafts­man­ship over the years, with just three men hav­ing held the ti­tle of Lau­rent-perrier’s Cel­lar Master since 1950. To­day, that priv­i­lege is held by Michel Fau­con­net; to­gether with

his ex­pert team, Fau­con­net has con­tin­ued to re­fine and grow the house’s inim­itable mas­tery of blend­ing, a metic­u­lously honed skill that lies at the heart of the whole art of mak­ing world-class cham­pagnes.

At Lau­rent-perrier, mak­ing the best wines starts by se­lect­ing the best juices at the wine press. The team works with three grape va­ri­etals: a ma­jor­ity of chardon­nay, then pinot noir and fi­nally pinot me­u­nier. Fau­con­net and his team se­lect the still wines that go into the com­po­si­tion of each drink from 17 grands crus, 44 pre­miers crus and the best wines from 320 vil­lages that make up the Cham­pagne ap­pel­la­tion.

As the say­ing goes, good things come to those who wait—and great pa­tience is re­quired to en­sure that Lau­rent-perrier’s cu­vées are per­fect and ready to drink as soon as they are re­leased into the mar­ket. To en­sure the char­ac­ter­is­tic Lau­rent-perrier house style is pro­duced year af­ter year, the win­ery waits for the per­fect bal­ance be­tween a base year and the re­serve wines.

This quest for per­fec­tion is epit­o­mised in the house’s Grand Siècle, the brain­child of Bernard de No­nan­court. He be­lieved that na­ture alone would never pro­vide the per­fect wine-pro­duc­ing year, but Lau­rent-perrier’s mas­tery of blend­ing could bring the best of the best to­gether—and thus cre­ate some­thing even bet­ter. The re­sult­ing Grand Siècle is a se­lec­tion of three of the house’s most ex­cep­tional vin­tage years, care­fully se­lected to have per­fectly com­ple­men­tary pro­files. Ex­clu­sively as­sem­bled from 11 of the 17 chardon­nay and pinot noir grands crus in the Cham­pagne re­gion, Grand Siècle is then ex­ten­sively aged be­fore be­ing made avail­able on the mar­ket, thereby en­sur­ing a re­mark­ably con­sis­tent style for this aro­mat­i­cally deep cham­pagne, which sings with notes of hazel­nut, honey and freshly baked pas­tries.

Lau­rent-perrier’s long his­tory and un­par­al­leled blend­ing ex­per­tise is what gives the house the knowl­edge and skills to recre­ate the per­fect year—but the house’s sto­ried tra­di­tion for fresh­ness, cre­ativ­ity and in­no­va­tion shouldn’t be un­der­es­ti­mated, either. Just as all these qual­i­ties come to­gether to cre­ate Grand Siècle, they come to the fore again for La Cu­vée, the house’s new­est flag­ship brut and a cham­pagne of per­fect bal­ance.

Fau­con­net was in­spired by the qual­i­ta­tive in­crease in the house’s sup­plies over the past 15 years. The wine comes from the purest of grape juices—a blend with more than 50 per cent chardon­nay (nearly dou­ble the av­er­age usu­ally found in cham­pagne), which gives this drink its truly sin­gu­lar per­son­al­ity. It’s then aged for four years in the Lau­rent-perrier cel­lars to reach the per­fect ma­tu­rity. With a com­plex­ity that is ex­pressed in suc­ces­sive notes of vine peach and white fruits, it boasts a per­fect bal­ance be­tween fresh­ness, del­i­cacy, a sub­tle ef­fer­ves­cence and fruity flavours at the fin­ish.

Fresh, pure, com­plex, el­e­gant and strik­ingly unique—both Grand Siècle and La Cu­vée are proof why Lau­rent-perrier’s eter­nal quest for per­fec­tion is al­ways worth the ef­fort.

BEST OF CHAM­PAGNE The pri­mary grape va­ri­etals used for Lau­rent-perrier cham­pagnes are the high­est qual­ity chardon­nay and pinot noir

(Clock­wise from top) HID­DEN TREA­SURES Lau­rent-perrier’s Grand Siècle cham­pagne un­der­goes a pro­longed age­ing pe­riod in cel­lars be­fore be­ing made avail­able on the mar­ket

PRIS­TINE PURITY La Cu­vée is Lau­rent-perrier’s new­est flag­ship brut cham­pagne;

CHAM­PAGNE FOR THE AGES Lau­rent-perrier’s Grand Siècle cham­pagne is a blend of three of the house’s most ex­cep­tional vin­tages

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