When speaking of luxury, the first wine that comes to mind would be the champagne. Unbeknownst to many, there are many Houses that produce champagne, but one House that stands out for its approach to modernity would be Champagne Perrier-Jouët. Famed for its floral approach to their champagnes, Perrier-Jouët embraces Art Nuveau and can be seen through their delicately distinct bottles with a beautiful nod to their appreciation of the art, combined with their age old history of being one of the oldest champagne producers in France.
What Is Champagne?
Champagne is a sparkling wine that is made with predominantly Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes that comes from the historic region of Champagne, France. This type of sparkling wine goes through double fermentation, in which the second fermentation causes the wine to be carbonated. This sparkling wine is protected in the European Union under the Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne (CIVC), a body that ensures that a certain level of standard is achieved and any sparkling wine that is not produced in the region and according to its ambits will not be allowed to use the name champagne.
The House of Perrier-Jouët
The House of Perrier-Jouët was founded in 1811 by Pierre Nicolas Perrier and Rose Adélaide Jouët, who came from backgrounds familiar with the production of wines. The cellar is currently run by Hervé Deschamps, the 7th Perrier-Jouët Cellar Master from 1993. Today, the House of Perrier-Jouët is currently owned by Pernod Ricard with over 180 acres of vineyard in Champagne, France. The House of Perrier-Jouët is famed for its distinct floral champagnes, and also its appreciation of art nouveau throughout their history. Today, this can still be seen in their intricate floral designs on each and every bottle of champagne, an homage to its historical embracing of the arts.
The Brand Ambassador for Pernod Ricard in Malaysia is Jean-Baptiste Gouvril, and when asked about the Art of the Wild collaboration with Babe – Japas Fun Dining, Gouvril stated: –
“Maison Perrier-Jouët is excited that Chef Ramsey has agreed to take on the role of Chef Ambassador. Chef Ramsey — with his playful and fun-loving approach to Babe’s progressive modernist cuisine — is perfectly aligned with our free-spirited ethos. Chef’s preference for premium produce and his reverence for provenance is a philosophy that Maison Perrier-Jouët espouses. For the last 200 years, we have harnessed the wonder of nature, transforming our exceptional terroir and the emblematic Chardonnay grape variety into enchanting champagnes with an instantly identifiable, epicurean style.” — Jean-Baptiste Gouvril, Brand Ambassador of Pernod Ricard, Perrier-Jouët and G.H. Mumm.
The Art of the Wild Tasting Session
The Perrier-Jouët tasting session was conducted by Jean-Baptiste Gouvril, Brand Ambassador of Pernod Ricard, Perrier Jouët and G.H. Mumm, through a pairing by Chef Jeff Ramsey, Chef Ambassador of Perrier-Jouët Malaysia, owner of Babe – Japas Fun Dining, a contemporary Japanese-French restaurant. The champagnes that were tasted were perfectly aligned with the cuisine as both wine and restaurant embrace modernity. The tasting session consisted of 3 champagnes, the Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque 2008, the Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut and the Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé.
Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque 2008
The Belle Epoque has a significant floral head note, which reminds you of white peach with a subtle sweetness. This champagne consists of 50% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir and 5% Pinot Meunier grapes. This wine is matured for 6 years and has a translucent appearance with hints of green. This champagne carries light citrus notes and white peach aromas on the nose, with a long and well-balanced mouthfeel, not to heavy, not too light. This champagne is best paired with white meats and seafood.
“If we don’t take into consideration the bottle that pays tribute to the support of Perrier-Jouët to Art-Nouveau, I would say the most unique element about the Belle Epoque is its perfect balance and structure. The florality and white-fleshed fruits notes are enchanting and transport the drinker into the lush world of Perrier-Jouët.”
Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut
The second champagne was the Grand Brut, a floral and fruity champagne, with a medium body. This champagne is composed of 20% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and 40% Pinot Meunier grapes, with 12-20% of reserve wine added. This wine has a pale-yellow coloration, and has the head notes of floral and ripe fruits, with undertones of a buttery mouthfeel. Hints of vanilla and grapefruit is also noted. This champagne is best paired with food that is not too heavy, but not too light, perfect with umami heavy flavours such as foie gras or oily fish.
“The Grand Brut is a blend of more than fifty crus (villages), showcasing the quality and diversity of the house winemaking tradition. We taste the florality very well in this champagne, which is the House’s signature style.”
Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé
Described as a gourmet cuvée, the rosé is probably the most elegant of the champagnes. This champagne is composed of 25% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier grapes, with 12-15% of reserve wine added. With a colouration of a nice pink hue, this champagne is probably one of the most enjoyable champagnes because of its innate nature. Less sweet than most other rosés, this champagne is dryer on the palate. The head notes carry a fruitier note of blood orange and apricots, with a long mouthfeel. This champagne is best enjoyed with red meats, dessert or even as a wine over a conversation.
“The Blason Rosé is a surprising brut champagne showcasing a very developed and mature fruit with buttery aromas. I strongly recommend using it during gastronomic events.”
The Perrier-Jouët Champagne Experience
France has a deep history of producing some of the best sparkling wines in the world, and champagnes being their magna opus. The line of champagnes produced by Perrier-Jouët is one of the best in the world, with its modern take that makes it suitable for any occasion, however, each bottle delivers a different experience. The Blason Rosé, for example, makes a great dinner conversations, as Gouvril puts it: –
“A bottle of champagne is always a good idea to start a conversation. I believe the best of the three for a good conversation would be the Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé because it always creates a surprise. People expect a sweet champagne due to its rosé colour but it is not the case as this is a brut champagne. I also believe it’s a great opportunity to explain to people how we proceed to obtain this colour at Perrier-Jouët. They don’t expect red wine to be the reason of the rosé’s colour. To put it simply, this makes a great icebreaker.
When queried if he had to choose only one of the three champagnes, he noted: –
If I had to choose only one of the three wines presented, without hesitation, I would choose the Perrier-Jouët Belle Époque 2008. This is an exceptional vintage presenting crisp freshness and good length on the palate as it showcases the expertise of the House. The Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque 2008 is definitely one of the best champagnes on the market.”
The Art of the Wild Dinner Series will run from 26th October 2018 to 11th November 2018.
For more information about the Perrier-Jouët Champagne Pairing Sessions, see our review of Babe – Japas Fun Dining.