Glass of Bubbly
Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis
With its iconic hand painted flower bottle, Perrier Jouet’s Cuvee Belle Epoque, formerly known as Fleur de Champagne, is one of the world’s most recognizable luxury brands, let alone Champagnes. To make their current releases even more memorable, the house teamed up young designers Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler in Perrier Jouet Ephemera, an installation unveiled at the Design Miami 2014 international show.
The design duo also created two stunning creations for Perrier Jouet, “Small Discoveries,” a special gift box for Grand Brut and the bottle itself for a limited edition 2007 Cuvee Belle Epoque. Building on the house’s iconic Art Nouveau theme and its appreciation of nature’s magic, Mischer’Traxler created the Belle Epoque bottle as a contemporary art landscape: “a garden blooming with white Japanese anemones. As the flowers spread their iridescent petal, butterflies and dragonflies flutter around them, adorning them with an endless necklace of light….” according to the Champagne Perrier Jouet marketing team.
The bottle is stunning but the wine inside was the real treat, at least for me and a dozen other writers, sommeliers and merchants invited to lunch with Perrier Jouet Chef de Caves Herve Deschamps at Michael Mina in San Francisco last month. The luncheon was hosted by Pernod-Ricard USA.
Chef Mina prepared a dish of Cauliflower Risotto with Hamachi Collar, Maitake and Parmesan Mousse to pair with the 2007 Perrier-Jouet Cuvee Belle Epoque Brut Champagne (US $160). The Champagne was elegant, creamy, and delicate with notes of acacia honey, warm buttered croissant, egg custard and crème fraiche. 2007 Belle Epoque, or “beautiful time” as explained by Deschamps, is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. We were also treated to a glass of the 2006 Perrier-Jouet Cuvee Belle Epoque Brut Rose Champagne (US $300), which was dry, light, subtle and refined with notes of raspberry, cantaloupe, crème caramel, toasted whole grain bread and marcona almond. Chef Mina paired this Rose, Chardonnay with 11% Pinot Noir juice added for color only, not taste, with King Salmon, Truffled Apple Jam, Potato Gnocchi, Prosciutto and Cabbage.
Perrier Jouet produced the first Brut champagne in 1846, and in 1858 was the first brand to put a vintage on the label.