Sauternes de Château d'Yquem tasting case
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Barons de Rothschild : Blanc de Blancs
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Laurent-Perrier is a family run Champagne House with history dating back to 1812. Perfection, elegance, independence are the three core values at the centre of this House, values that shines through clearly in their selection of wines. Laurent-Perrier produces seven cuvees ranging from Brut Nature to Demi-Sec and beyond, with specialty vintage cuvees. All of these dazzlers express the Laurent-Perrier style that their memorable leader, Bernard de Nonancourt, created and made the backbone of the brand we know and love today.
The Laurent-Perrier House was founded in 1812, when Andre Michel Pierlot settled in Tours-Sur-Marne as a negociant of Champagne wines. He purchased the plots within this village that we now know as Laurent-Perrier. His son, Alphonse Pierlot, took over the House but eventually bestowed it upon cellar master Eugene Laurent. In 1887, Mathilde Emilie Perrier took the helm after her husband’s accidental death. The Champagne House was renamed Veuve Laurent-Perrier combining both her and her late husband’s last names. Mathilde brought the business much success, restored its finances and kept the House going throughout the Great War. In 1939, daughter Eugenie Hortense Laurent sold the estate to Marie-Louise de Nonancourt.
It was Marie-Louise’s son Bernard de Nonancourt who truly put Laurent-Perrier on the map. He was the heart and soul of the company, transforming the small Champagne House into a global brand. After returning from the French Resistance, Bernard completed an apprenticeship to understand the business as a whole. He worked every job at Laurent-Perrier from cellar and office worker to sales representative, and became truly immersed in the company.
Through his passion and innovation, Bernard created the Laurent-Perrier style we know and love today. While keeping to the traditions of Champagne, he brought a breath of fresh air to the House by launching new approaches at both a technical and blending level. In the 1950’s Bernard and the winemaking team made Laurent-Perrier one of the few Champagne Houses to use stainless steel tanks. This option allowed the wine to retain freshness and complex aromas, by keeping the fermentation temperatures low. This change was instrumental in allowing the freshness, elegance and finesse to shine through in their wines. Bernard was also credited for building the first thermo-regulated winery.
After Bernard’s death in 2010, his two daughters - Alexandra Pereyre de Nonancourt and Stephanie Meneux de Nonancourt - took over the business. Together with cellar master Michel Fauconnet, who learned from Bernard himself, Laurent-Perrier has continued the legacy and passion Bernard had instilled in the business.
Laurent-Perrier boasts an exceptional terroir in the Champagne region. The subsoil in the area is made up of limestone, chalk and marl, allowing for great drainage and a mineral flavour to shine through in certain styles. The chalk soil is made up of granules of calcite from fossilized marine life, creating an extremely unique terroir. The chalk soil draws in water through capillary action creating just enough stress on the vines to achieve a balance of ripeness and acidity. The House holds vineyards in the very best terroirs of Champagne, including Bouzy, Tours-Sur-Marne and Ambonnay. The cellars and estate are situated at the crossroads of main wine regions in Marne and belong to the one of the 17 Champagne villages ranked Grand Cru in this area.
Bernard de Nonancourt spearheaded the Laurent-Perrier Rosé Champagne cuvee in 1968. Made of 100% Pinot Noir, this champagne is elegant, refined, fresh and round. It is acknowledged for its consistency and its high quality, and is characterized by ripe red fruit aromas, a high intensity and great freshness. The nose is refreshing, bursting with notes of raspberry, pomegranate, strawberry, cherry and figs. The palate is consistent with the nose, delivering lively berries, fresh acidity and bursting bubbles. The Cuvee Rosé bottle is made to be reminiscent of traditional hand-blown flacons. The bottle is also uniquely engraved with a monogrammed ‘LP’ shield, inspired by those made in the time of King Henri IV.
After the flagship Cuvee Rosé broke new grounds in Champagne, Bernard de Nonancourt continued to break new grounds with this beautiful vintage champagne dedicated to his daughter Alexandra. Only exceptional vintages are deemed worthy of the Grande Cuvee Alexandra Rosé and despite periods of hailstorms during the spring and summer, the 2004 vintage exceeded all expectations. September was dry sunny, and promised quality and quantity, leading to one of the greatest vintages in Champagne in two decades.
Along with an exceptional growing season this vintage is extremely special for the family. On Alexandra’s wedding day, Bernard de Nonancourt presented the finished product of the Cuvee Alexandra as a wedding gift for his daughter. This was the perfect gift from Bernard, as his passion and love for his daughter was truly captured by this vintage. At the time of her wedding, Alexandra was not working for the Champagne house, but this gesture ignited her passion again for the family business.
The wine is made up of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay. The grapes come from some of the most prestigious Grand Crus in Champagne. During the Pinot Noir maceration, 20% Chardonnay is added. There have only been seven vintages released since its launch in 1987. The Champagne has a delicate pink colour with fine bubbles and a complex nose with hints of strawberries, redcurrant and candied fruits. The palate is elegant and refined with a mix of fruit and mineral notes.
Among other top Cuvees in the Laurent-Perrier line-up is the Grand Siecle. This Champagne is created from three exceptional years that complement each other perfectly. The idea of this champagne came in 1955 when Bernard de Nonancourt observed that, although nature may never provide the perfect oenological year, the art of assemblage allows the cellar master at Laurent-Perrier to create it himself. He described this blend as “the best of the best with the best.” The first Grand Siècle was unveiled in 1959 with a bottle that was inspired by the glass blowers who created the very first champagnes for the French Royal court. The name Grand Siecle celebrates the 17th century era of Louis XIV, the Sun King, and a time that saw a blossoming of French art and a new appreciation of fine food.
The Grand Siecle is made up of 55% Chardonnay and 45% Pinot Noir. The grapes come from 11 of the 17 Grand Cru plots in Champagne. The Pinot Noir, specifically, is harvested from Ambonnay, Bouzy, Mailly, while the Chardonnay is from Avize, Cramant and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. The three vintages that are blended show complementary traits: one vintage shows structure, the second expresses finesse and finally the third vintage displays freshness. The wine is strong yet delicate – it has an intense aromas of candied fruit, almonds and subtle hints of honey. The palate is well rounded, bringing fullness with a mineral touch. This Champagne would be the perfect pairing for a “surf and turf” menu, for a great celebration.