The entire Perrier-Jouët Champagne range is now bottled under Mytik* cork closures in the Australian market, which is good news.
They join G.H. Mumm in this – and it’s probably no coincidence as both are owned, imported and distributed by Pernod Ricard.
A new P-J Champagne, a non-vintage blanc de blancs, was debuted at a recent tasting hosted by Pernod’s Champagne ambassador, Chris Sheehy. It’s the first new cuvée from P-J in two decades and is a terrific wine. They do have a vintage blanc de blancs but it’s under the very expensive Belle Époque label. This new wine is more affordable at AUD $130.
The style enshrines the P-J philosophy of chardonnay-driven freshness and primary fruit. It’s a wine of tremendous vitality and impact. With a very light straw-yellow colour, it summons green apple and savoury dried herb aromas, with a light bready overtone. The palate is tightly structured and lively, with wonderful acidity and line.
The grapes are mainly grand cru Cramant and Avize. The base-year is 2013, with 15% reserve wines, and it was aged for three years on tirage.
Sheehy also poured the current release (2013 vintage base) of the Perrier-Jouët workhorse, NV Grand Brut, which proved a superb contrast to the blanc de blancs, as it’s pinoty, full and rich, soft and round with nougat, pastry, vanilla and toasty/smoky nuances; a generously flavoured NV that is a cut above the ruck, and appropriately priced (within Champagne parameters!) at AUD $79.
We also tasted the 2011 Belle Époque (AUD $299), the 2005 Belle Époque Rosé (AUD $350), and the current NV Blason Rosé (AUD $120, 2013 base vintage). All delightful wines, although I feel that at the prices, these releases of the Belle Époques are not the best value deluxe cuvées around.
A small quibble, as we are talking degrees of greatness.
* Mytik is the brand name for the sparkling wine composite cork made by the same process as the Diam cork for still wines and guaranteed to be taint-free.