La Cuvée Brut NV – Laurent Perrier.
When you think about Champagne there are a few big houses and names that come to mind. Champagnes that most people will come across at least once in their life. In essence these houses create the largest part of the way people percept Champagne, and therefore their role is not to be underestimated. They stand for quality and stability, and are Champagne’s business card to the world. One of these houses is that of Laurent Perrier and in this review we are discussing their entry level Champagne: La Cuvée Brut Non-Vintage.
About the Winery
Maison Laurent Perrier was founded in 1812 but saw its big growth and success in the 1950’s under the reign of Bernard de Nonancourt. He made it one of the big houses in Champagne, and give it the fame it still has today. These days his daughters Stéphanie and Alexandra successfully run the Maison and are doing a great job in improving the quality with cellar master Michel Fauconnet, while expanding their markets.
If you would need to know one thing about Laurent Perrier it is their talent for making Rosé Champagnes. Both their entry level “Cuvée Rosé Brut NV” and their top Champagne “Grand Siècle Alexandra Rosé Millésimé” are amongst the highest rated Rosé Champagnes in the world.
Entry Level Wines
Entree level wines are important, at every winery, because they are the starting point for most consumers when they get to know the winery. It is often the wine offered at the best price/quality ratio and sees a lower price point to attract new audiences. When tasting a wine portfolio, we always start with the entry level wine, because it tells you so much. It often represents the different vineyards the winery uses and carries the signature of the winery and the winemaker. Add the strong price point they carry and you simply cannot miss out on them. Every winery and winemaker will want their entry level wine to impress you, that is just the way it is.
For Champagne this is not different. The entry level wine is mostly a Non-Vintage (NV) wine, that is built up from grapes and wine from different vintages. It does a great job in representing the style of the house. Most of the time it is also where they make most of their money, because of the volumes of it produced and sold.
About the Wine
La Cuvée is what you could refer to as the “entry-level-wine” of Laurent Perrier. It comes at the strongest price point and does an excellent job in representing the style of the house. This Champagne is made out of 3 grape varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. By default, this means that it is a somewhat more complex wine, when comparing it to a Blanc de Blancs for instance, that only features one variety (Chardonnay).
From the 3 grape varieties Laurent Perrier uses there is always an important role for the Chardonnay grapes. Cornerstones for Laurent Perrier in their style are the freshness, pureness and elegance that should be present at all time. La Cuvée consists roughly of 50% Chardonnay, 30-35% Pinot Noir and 10-15% Pinot Meunier. About 15-30% of the Champagne is made out of “reserve wine” which is a main contributor to ensure consistency on the style. It ages for about 4 years in the cellar and has a light dosage to add balance and freshness.
In the glass a pale golden colour welcomes you, crystalline and clear, accompanied by a mousse that is compact and persistent. In the nose a refined array of fruit and light floral notes leave a strong impression. This duet continues on the palette, delivering a nice balance. There are limited secondary notes here but some deeper notes of stone fruit can be detected, adding complexity. Those building blocks retain their strength, all the way along a persistent finish.
Conclusion: If we take La Cuvée as one of the cornerstones of Laurent Perrier it shows great promise. This is a Champagne that brings freshness, elegance and complexity that are unmistakably top quality. A well-built Champagne, offered at a strong price, which shows that big does not necessarily mean boring. We are happy to award this Champagne with a 92-point score.
This wine is reviewed by Niels Aarts. The wine is available online at Bovino.
Taste date: December 2022
Score: 92/100 DWA Score
Website: Laurent Perrier