There is something about the silhouette of a champagne bottle that thrills the senses. In the hands of a host, a waiter or a lover it excites as it approaches. The heavy glass of the body, the elegant neck and the bulge of the wired cork beneath its foil, the whole package perfected over centuries to protect the precious bubbles are almost as anticipated as the whoosh of the contents.
We all have our favourites. Some have changed over the years. Older generations stand by the time-tested offerings, some of the hipper crowd have adopted some newer flashier labels. For sheer romance and style, can there be a lovelier bottle than the Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque?
It is said Grace Kelly declared it her favourite champagne. A perfect match, n’est-ce pas?
Perrier-Jouët came about through the romance of a marriage between Pierre-Nicolas Perrier and Adèle Jouët in 1811. In two centuries of champagne production there have been only seven Cellar Masters. Hervé Deschamps has held the role since 1993, having spent ten years assisting the previous incumbent. He is the proud overseer and defender of the House wines, always striving to be ‘floral, stylish, diamond-cut’.
The story of the bottle begins in the early 1900s when the Art Nouveau movement unveiled its splendour. In 1902 Emile Gallé designed the wreath of anemones outlined in gold. Rediscovered, it appeared on the Belle Epoque bottle for the vintage of 1964. The wine from this delightful vessel is never less than glorious.
The Perrier-Jouët House is renowned for its breathtaking chardonnays sourced from two of the best plots in the Cotes de Blancs – Cramant and Avize. The 2004 is described as having the nuances of “white fruits, spring flowers, elegant, sensual and silky”. The Rosé is a charmer, not so much pink as golden peach in colour. A masterful blend gently offering blushing flowers and fruits. Of course the bottle will attract you but it’s for the wine you stay and sip and savour. www.perrier-jouet.com