This finely knit and lithe Champagne is smoky up front, opening into a lovely range of pastry, glazed apricot, lemon curd and candied ginger notes in the glass. Vibrant acidity drives the satinlike finish. Drink now through 2030. (AN)
Perrier Jouët Belle Epoque 2008 reminds me somewhat of the grace of the exceptional 1995, Cellarmaster Hervé Deschamps’ first solo vintage and still one of his best. Though the two vintages 13 years apart share the same grace and class, the 2008 is more mineral, reflecting a quite sunless summer season. Only the return of warmer weather at the start of September imbued the vintage with a freshness of great Chardonnay in tune with the subtly restrained power of Pinot Noir and a soupçon of rounded Meunier – that final little touch making the wine more pleasurable to drink soon, unlike other wines from the Champagne 2008 vintage, which need a lot more time. Chardonnay is from Cramant, Avize, and Mesnil, Pinot Noir from Ay and Ambonnay in the Montagne de Reims, and Pinot Meunier from Dizy. Shimmering pale gold with green lights, radiant clarity; persistent tiny bubbles: riot of white flowers scents, hawthorn, then more stone-fruit than citrus, reine claude (greengage) and elderflower. Vibrant mouthfeel, invigorating, expansive – perfect with saline fruits de mer. (ME)
A strong Belle Epoque from 2008, this has an almost sultry air about it with deeply spicy glacé stone fruits and fresh bready notes. The palate has sleek, composed and well-weighted fruit and acid balance. Stone fruit pastry flavors run even and hold well into the finish.
The latest release in this series of wines with its Belle Epoque bottle is, as always, a blend dominated by Chardonnay. So although the dosage is relatively high, that is balanced by fine acidity and minerality. It is a stylish wine, ripe and with the maturity to drink now. (RV)
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