Laurent-Perrier is one the biggest Champagne houses and the largest family owned house. They were founded in 1812 by Alphonse Pierlot in Tours-sur-Marne, east of Epernay and Reims, and their first wines were bottled as "A Pierlot & Cie." In 1881, cellarmaster Eugene Laurent was given or "bestowed" the company and ran it with his wife Mathilde Emilie Perrier until his death in 1887. His wife took over after his death and renamed the house Champagne Veuve Laurent-Perrier, Veuve meaning widow. WW I was tough on the house, and it barely survived WW II. It was acquired by the Nonancourt family in 1939 and Bernard de Nonancourt has run the house for 65 years+, now with the help of his daughters.
Laurent-Perrier is a very innovative house. They were among the first to use stainless steel tanks, their awesome Grand Siècle was the first Multi Vintage Champagne, and their notably great Cuvée Rosé Brut is not only 100% Pinot Noir ( A Blanc de noirs) but is also made by the saignée or skin contact method. Most Roses in contrast get their color by the addition of a small amount of still Pinot Noir.
Their best wines are their Cuvee Rose Brut, Grand Siecle, and Grand Siecle Cuvee Alexandra Rose!
Champagnes, starting with their non vintage wines, include:
Ultra Brut - This is a zero dosage wine, which are somewhat trendy now, but was a bold move when they first introduced it. A wonderful wine although I am not a fan of many no dosage (or Brut Nature) wines. There is a reason to add dosage (sugar) to wine in an area where grapes rarely ripen fully. Laurent-Perrier uses grapes from only very ripe harvests and this wine is wonderful. 55% Chardonnay and 45% Pinot Noir. It improves and fills out with a couple years in the bottle.
Brut LP - Light and fresh, this is their basic NV. 50% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir, and 15% Pinot Meunier.
Demi-Sec - Their Demi-Sec or sweet wine. Similar to the Brut LP, except sweeter, and a bit more Pinot Noir and a bit less Chardonnay.
Brut Millésime - Their basic vintage wine, and roughly half Pinot Noir and half Chardonnay depending on the vintage.
Cuvée Rosé - Although no longer the bargain it once was, this rose has long been a go to Rose! A lovely strawberry-salmon pink color with tastes of raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and more. A wine to drink fresh instead of aging. 100% Pinot Noir. I drink much less of this with so many grower rose Champagnes to try, but it is still lovely!
Grand Siecle - Grand Siecle, or great century, is Laurent-Perrier's best wine. Unlike most houses, it is not a vintage wine, but a multi-vintage wine, usually a blend of 3 great vintages. It is made from all grand Cru grapes from 12 villages including Ambonnay, Verzenay, Mailly, Avize, Cramant, Chouilly and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, and about 1/2 Chardonnay and 1/2 Pinot Noir.
Unfortunately they do not list the vintages on the bottle, and this wine requires aging. I bought two magnums and the first after maybe a year in the cellar was a baby and tasting a bit green and closed, although still wonderful. The second, opened 4 years later was a totally different wine: still young, but crisp and clean yet creamy with minerals and spices and absolutely no rough edges. This is one of the best Champagnes made, period!
Grand Siecle Alexandra Brut Rose - Fantastic, like the Grand Siecle, but unlike it a vintage wine. Made in miniscule qualities, expensive, and hard to find. Grapes from select grand Cru sites, hand sorted and destemmed, and 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay. Tasting note below!
Tasting Note: Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé - June 2015, rated B+
Wow, I haven't had this is quite some time. It was a go to rose for years and showed well tonite! There are so many Grower Champagnes to try these days (and the price has gone up too) that I haven't had this in a while. My loss.
A medium salmon/pink/orange color.
The nose is wet stones and lots of minerals, strawberries and raspberries. It is a mineral dominated nose that simply rocks.
Light and delicate on the palate but with depth and body and the back end. Minerals, strawberry, distinct orange at one point of breathing, and it gets bigger with air.
I do prefer the nose to the palate. That said, both are fine and not out of balance at all. Simply a lovely wine!
Tasting Note: Grand Siecle Alexandra Brut Rose - Dec 2012 and rated an A!
I was fortunate to try this (side by side with the Krug Rose) at Blanchards in Allston Mass 2012 Holiday Rare Wine tasting.
A light pink color.
The nose is saline and racy, minty, and my notes say "Wow!" With air it develops ethereal strawberry.
On the palate it's very rich and dry. Intense with some red fruits dancing in the background.
Improved noticeably with air as well. I would love to spend some time with a bottle of this sometime!