Perrier-Jouët, champagne as legacy
Champagne Living Legacy, bubles for future generations.
A few months ago I had the opportunity to visit the Maison Perrier Jouët in the famous and renowned Avenue de Champagne in Épernay. Prior to what was going to happen, and I did not know, a guide showed me the winery and I could know, among other things, the interesting concept created to mark the bicentenary of the Maison (1811-2011), Champagne Living Legacy, which it consisted of two magnum bottles Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque 1998 that would pass from generation to generation in a limited edition of 100 bottles, for the modest price of 10.000 €.
The envelope of the bottle was designed by the American artist Daniel Arsham as a sculpted block in the characteristic Art Nouveau style, which already is a part of the Maison’s personal cartography. Two magnums, one to enjoy the moment, and one that will be guarded in the underground cellars of Perrier-Jouët in ideal conditions of temperature and humidity for the next generations.
A Cuvée thought to be open at a maximum of 100 years, a longevity that contrasts with what we think we can preserve a champagne and whose aging potential is absolutely guaranteed by the Maison. The complexity of Millésimé Cuvée 1998 is a blend of Chardonnay from Cramant and Avize, Pinot Noir from Mailly, Verzenay and Verzy, all them Grand Cru and Meunier from Dizy, qualified as Premier Cru.
The Perrier-Jouët experience was memorable, and surprisingly ended when the guide asked me to go along with her to the Maison Belle Epoque where it would receive me the prestigious chef de cave Hervé Deschamps for a private tasting. The minutes I waited the event seemed eternal, I stood and my mind went pause. During the wait I left the room adjoining the courtyard and I stood gazing for a while the lighted windows full of details that aroused my imagination. At that moment I remembered the first time, walking curious and distracted by that Avenue de Champagne, I thought how insurmountable were those walls behind which I was now and I felt in a dream.
Suddenly appeared Monsieur Deschamps who, exquisite in form, invited me to sit in front of him to start the tasting. Breaking the ice, I said that I was no one to enjoy a tasting as well, to which he replied with a smile: ‘You are as important as any one’. Of course the tasting was spectacular and soon I understood the reasons for his immense talent. The ritual was completed, while an assistant served us champagne with all the refinements. A memorable day in my life, and is that, to quote Robert Piglia, ‘…all world stories are woven the plot of our own lives’.
Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque 1998, a fragment of the history of a great Maison and a bottle that allows to leave in heritage bubbles with wich celebrating the future success of our descendants. If being rich and famous is not guarantee of anything, one thing it possibly give us a moment of happiness is drink champagne that our grandfather bequeathed to us. Do you understand now?