Laurent Perrier 2008 in Magnum, Champagne

50% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir. Disgorged 2019.

A real over-performer. Such glorious smoky, white pepper nose with citrus freshness and impeccable build. A charming classicist that will last for a long, long time in the cellar. This is great value. 18

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Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle Iteration 24, Champagne

This iteration is a blend of 2007, 2006 and 2004 vintages, 55% Chardonnay (all Côte des Blancs Grand Crus) and 45% Pinot Noir (a tour of Montagne de Reims Grand Crus). All stainless steel.

A beautiful blend, captured with purity and clarity, transformed by serious time on lees. It has that serenity that great champagne holds when it arrives in your glass after a long, calm journey, with no attempts to prise things open earlier than needed.

The generosity of 06 and spark of 07 lend an immediacy here, citrus marmalade on slightly charred toast, crystallised tropical fruit, sweet apricots. It is all lifted up by gunpowder and white pepper, delicious stylistic flashes that are so, so refined without dominating the profile. I think the 2004 influence is ‘cooling’ or ‘calming’, here, framing everything in silky restraint.

The slow build of acidity is wrapped up so tight in the texture that it pulls everything along with it. Nothing sticks out. Hard to unpick, really. 18.5

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Laurent-Perrier Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature

100% Chardonnay from Chouilly, Cramant and Villers-Marmery. 40% reserves going back to 2009. It is difficult to know the base vintage but I believe this is still the original 2012 and 2013- based bottling. Disgorgement Q1 2019.

An unusual wine for a Grande Marque house to release. Quite a taut, reserved profile of apple juice, white peach, and lemon pith, lifted with chalk and some almond. It is not pinched or unbalanced for a brut nature, and indeed you get a good sense of the careful composure of the ingredients – in this case the slightly hollow, papery palate is not as vibrant as it should be, though. Worth trying again with a super-fresh release. 15.5