Spirits & Wine

Champagne Laurent-Perrier with Jean-Sebastien Boileau

With champagne and the festive season almost upon us, we chat to Jean-Sébastien Boileau, Regional Export Director of Champagne Laurent-Perrier during his recent visit to Sydney.

In the 1950s, champagne was made in the style of a demi-sec and was consumed as an after dinner drink, Jean-Sébastien Boileau explains during his recent visit to Sydney. Bernard de Nonancourt, founding president and owner of Champagne Laurent-Perrier at the time switched consumption around by changing the style. He added more chardonnay into the blends, stopped maturation in oak and reduced the dosage.

Champagne Laurent-Perrier
Champagne Laurent-Perrier

Australia is one of the largest consumers of champagne currently ranking at number seven in the world, yet much has been reported of late about the growth of sparkling wines and the Prosecco category around the globe. According to Boileau, the trend is not impacting international brands but entry level champagne. In some countries, the growth is helping to promote the champagne category. They start by drinking sparkling wine and progress to champagne – a trend he is seeing in Asia.

Laurent-Perrier produces a range of champagne for every occasion. The aperitif style Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut NV is made from grand cru grapes, a blend of 50% chardonnay and 50% pinot noir with zero dosage, a true reflection of the vineyard. Laurent Perrier Brut NV is the house style with 50% chardonnay, 35% pinot noir and 15% pinot meunier. Aged in stainless steel vats then in the bottle for 36 months, it is elegant, refined with citrus notes and grapefruit. Laurent Perrier Brut Rosé is made from 100% pinot noir using the saignée method with maceration of skins in stainless steel vats for 48 hours. Fresh juicy strawberries with a subtle peppery character are dominant on the palate.

Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle, is an ongoing prestige cuvée that is not a vintage champagne but multi-vintage. In other words, it has three best vintages of the last decade. Laurent-Perrier’s vision is about the art of blending, Boileau explains. The philosophy is about delivering the same experience every time. Vintages introduce variation which cannot be controlled in nature. “We believe champagne is like the perfume industry. If you like a perfume, you want it the same every time you buy it. With champagne, we want to deliver you the same experience every time.”

Like the current no age statement trend in in whisky, is the future of champagne going down the multi-vintage route? Yes and no, according to Boileau. In mature markets where people know what they drink, the answer is affirmative. In developing markets, new consumers don’t drink champagne because they want to know what’s inside. They drink it as a status.

Laurent-Perrier will be introducing their 2006 vintage in 2015 and it promises to be a good vintage, he says. “Better than 2004, young but with complexity”.

Photo Credit – Champagne Laurent-Perrier. Used with permission.


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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.