The Place: Champagne
Formerly known as “Fleur de Champagne” or informally as “Flower Bottle,” Belle Epoquee is the tete de cuvee or luxury cuvee of Champagne house Perrier Jouet (founded in Epernay in 1811). 1964 was the first vintage for Belle Epoque which, by some accounts, makes it the fifth luxury cuvee launched in Champagne. Currently, quality is at an all time high.
PERRIER-JOUET Belle Epoque Brut, Champagne, 2006 ($136.29)
A 12.5% alcohol blend of 50% Chardonnay (from Cramant, Avize and Chouilly), 45% Pinot Noir (from Mailly, Verzy and Aÿ), and 5% Pinot Meunier (from Dizy). Grapes are pressed in the village of Cramant in traditional wooden presses. The clear juice is transported to Épernay for fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks with full malolactic fermentation. After bottling and the second fermentation, the wine spends six years on the lees (en tirage). Light-gold-straw in color and fully-sparkling; dry, medium-full-bodied with fresh acidity. Rich, toasty, deep, with lots of development but still elegant. Big mouthful of Champagne with ripe citrus and some tree fruit. More richness than expected. Lots of mouth feel. The floral, mineral, and toast notes are all in. Really delicious; great food Champagne. Soul satisfying. BearScore: 96.