Perrier-Jouët - 2002 Fleur de Champagne Brut

In the world of Champagne there are a small handful of truly classic names; Perrier-Jouët is certainly amongst their number. Each time I’ve had the chance to taste their wines I’ve walked away impressed with them. Additionally I’m reminded when I drink their wines that we really need to drink more Champagne in this country than we do. They can be delicious, pair well with the right foods and they’re fun to drink. So for me one of my goals in 2011 is to drink more Champagne. Today I’ll look at one of the current releases from Perrier-Jouët. The Perrier-Jouët 2002 Fleur de Champagne Brut was produced using fruit from several vineyards, several of them Grand Cru Chardonnay plantings. The blend of this wine is made up of Chardonnay (50%), Pinot Noir (45%), and Pinot Meunier (5%). Pressing took place with traditional wood presses. Fermentation took place in temperature controlled stainless steel. After dosage the wine ages in bottle for 6 years. This wine has a suggested retail price of $139.

Aromas of hibiscus, fresh brioche and apple are in abundance on the nose of this 2002 Champagne. Melon, citrus and spice are all part of an incredibly generous palate that just gives and gives with wave after wave of gently intense flavor. Yeasty notes marked by flaky biscuit are apparent on the finish along with ginger, lemon, pepper, and vanilla bean. This wine has fine structure and crisp, firm acidity.

This is a tremendous example of Champagne that showcases length, depth and complexity to spare. It’s delicious today and will drink well for the next couple of decades. If you’re going to spend this kind of money on a bottle of wine, you want some assurance you’re going to get value. The Perrier-Jouët name on the bottle gives you that assurance of consistent quality over a long stretch of time.