2006 Perrier Jouët "Belle Epoque" Brut Champagne
80 #79 78 This is a full-bodied and ripe wine, showing some toastiness as well as concentrated apple and peach flavors. There is a crisp edge to this opulent and rich wine. It has a great future: it is drinkable now, but will continue well into the 2020s.
Fine and creamy in texture, with well-honed acidity and a vein of saline-tinged minerality focusing the flavors of white cherry, pastry and lemon meringue. Drink now through 2028.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(50% chardonnay from Cramant, Avize and Chouilly, 45% pinot noir from Mailly, Verzy and Ay and 5% pinot meunier from Dizy; L0781302561 14.23): Light, bright gold. Powerful aromas of poached pear, cherry pit, pungent flowers and buttered toast, with a touch of white pepper adding vivacity. Supple and weighty on entry, then tighter in the mid-palate, offering ripe citrus and orchard fruit flavors and a bitter kick of musky rhubarb. Closes smooth and long, with very good breadth and building smokiness.
Rich and yet not at all lavish and, in fact, a touch tighter in its basic construction, this slow-to-show effort gradually reveals a keen bit of autolysis neatly matched to its vital, if comparatively subdued fruit. Its tiny bubbles are many and wonderfully well-sustained, and it ends with a terrifically long finish, and, every step of its way, it suggests a little more depth than most and has the potential to gain in both richness and range for a good many more years.
Wine & Spirits
There’s some youthful reduction to this Champagne, hinting at flint and spring leeks. Tight and earthy rather than sunny, it has layers of flavor that build out of that flinty tension, yielding scents of cranberry and ripe red fruit. A lean vintage of this prestige cuvée, it needs a year or two of bottle age to evolve more fully.
50% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir, 5% Pinot Meunier. Rich, nuanced and dense on the nose. Tasting this alongside Moët 2006, it is clear that this is much more ambitious. Good balance and lots of fresh acidity but a savoury undertow. Attractively dry finish. Not the tightest texture and surprisingly evolved for a 2006 but useful for drinking now.