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
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