Laurent-Perrier "Grand Siècle" Champagne
*Cellar Selection* Laurent-Perrier’s prestige cuvée is always non-vintage, a blend of top years. The latest bottling is so elegant, definitely maturing from bottle aging and older vintages in the blend, but still worthy of aging in itself. It is dry, in the L-P style, but has richness, an intense pink grapefruit character, hints of cilantro, the final acidity a great shaft of light.
The Wine News
Moderate straw-yellow hue with fine, active bubbles. Expressive nose of toasted grain and red apple with light lemon accents. Foamy texture on entry with continued cherry notes that complement pear and spice together with a very pleasing, creamy mineral appeal. Tart apple and crisp lemon/lime-inspired acidity grace the elegant close.
A subtle version, focused more on delicate acidity and texture than the finely layered flavors of creamed apple, marzipan, pastry dough and black currant, with hints of lemon curd and ground spice. Delivers a lasting, smoke-tinged finish. Drink now through 2020. 300 cases imported.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Light, bright gold. Mineral-accented scents of pear skin, orange pith and white flowers are lifted by a gingery nuance. Pliant, dense and rich, with palate-coating orchard fruit and spicecake flavors and a smoky mineral quality building with air. Weighty and broad but energetic, with bright minerality adding lift and cut to a strikingly persistent finish.
This Champagne is a blend of three great harvests: 20% 1999, 20% 1997 and an astonishing 60% 1996. It is half Chardonnay, half Pinot Noir and all the fruit comes entirely from Grand Cru villages in Champagne. This is one of the greatest of the tête de cuvée Champagnes, but it has had a hard time selling in the U.S. because it does not carry a vintage date, and is not produced in the same large volume as Cristal and Dom Perignon. This is a must for anyone who loves Champagne. It has glorious detail and complexity on the bouquet. In the mouth, the bead is ultra fine; it is hard to imagine smaller bubbles. The flavors are polished and fresh but still fully developed, a testament to the precise blending of the three great vintages. A great tête de cuvée! (Gary Westby, Champagne buyer)