Perrier-Jouët releases Belle Epoque 2013
Perrier-Jouët has released the 2013 vintage of its prestige cuvée, Belle Epoque, the hallmark of which, according to cellar master Severine Frerson, is lime blossom.
Made from a blend of 50% grand cru Chardonnay, 45% grand cru Pinot Noir and 5% Meunier, the 2013 vintage embodies the delicate floral style that has come to define the house.
2013 was a cool year, with late flowering in July pushing back the start of the harvest to 30 September. It was a particularly good year for Chardonnay.
“Perrier Jouët is not really looking for minerality or robust forward acidity, it’s more about soft, gentle, floral and fruit elegance,” said brand ambassador Jonny Simms when introducing the wine to the UK trade over Zoom this week.
He added that the 5% Meunier in the blend had a key role to play. “It’s unusual to find Meunier in a prestige cuvée, but it’s there for a specific reason – it brings fruitiness and acts as a bridge between the Pinot and Chardonnay,” he said.
Frerson – Perrier-Jouët’s first female cellar master – describes the Champagne as “pale gold in colour, with subtle glints of apple green”, and notes of “ripe pear, grapefruit zest, ginger, tangerine and a hint of green pepper”.
“Lime blossom expresses the character, personality and texture of the 2013 vintage”, she said, adding that the fizz has a “delicate salinity” to it.
The house recommends serving the Champagne at 12°C and enjoying it as an apéritif or paired with the likes of Dover sole and grilled turbot.
The fizz, which was aged for six years on its lees and disgorged in March 2020, has gone on sale at Harvey Nichols priced at £159 a bottle.
Featuring its distinctive anemone flower motif, the Belle Epoque bottle design was created in 1902 by Emile Gallé, a prominent player in the Art Nouveau movement.
Founded in 1811 in Epernay, Perrier-Jouët is known for its elegant, floral Champagnes that celebrate the delicacy of Chardonnay.
The house owns 65 hectares of vineyards, including 55ha of grand cru sites. Its prestige cuvée, Belle Epoque, launched in 1969 at Maxim’s in Paris with the 1964 vintage. The debut vintage of Belle Epoque was practically a blanc de blancs, composed of 90% Chardonnay.