28 Aug Laurent-Perrier ‘La Cuvée’ Hits Australia
Champagne Houses seldom overhaul their entry-level cuvées, mostly because they set the standard for the style – and therefore expectation – of the House. But every now and then, they need a little tweaking. Consumer trends and preferences, warmer weather associated with climate change, innovations in winemaking and supply chain allocation require Houses to refine their flagship champagnes every so often.
The latest offering from Laurent-Perrier does just that. After 15 years in the making, La Cuvée replaces L-P Brut as the House’s entry point non-vintage champagne from the beginning of next month.
A House known for its emblematic use of chardonnay, La Cuvée honours their style tenets of ‘purity, freshness and delicacy’ but manages to add a new level of refinement. It’s lighter, more floral and less yeasty than its predecessor. There is also a silkier, creamier texture. Bottles have been given an upgrade too. Labels have been re-designed to be round and brighter, bringing it in line with a marketing re-vamp of Laurent-Perrier’s range.
Improvements to the supply chain and production methods contribute to its more elegant profile. Some 100 crus now go into making La Cuvée (up from 55), a higher portion of chardonnay is used and each bottle receives a lighter dosage of 10.5g/L (down from 12.5g/L). Blend proportions allow chardonnay to take the lead at 50-55%, followed by pinot noir at 30-35% and meunier at 15-20%. Bottles receive four years on lees, a year longer than the L-P Brut.
In appearance, La Cuvée is pale yellow and carries a fine bead and good mousse. The nose is medium pronounced – zesty, creamy and bright. White florals come to the fore, followed by pine needle, white stone fruits and wet stones. Complexity is added with a hint of brioche-like autolysis.
The palate marries nicely with the nose, confirming chardonnay’s youth and purity. Creamy upon execution, it opens out to a bountiful display of orange blossom and lightly pronounced brioche, followed by white stone fruits and some honeyed notes. Feather-light and with a fine silky texture, chardonnay is very elegant here, complemented by chalk minerality. Acidity levels are kept to medium levels, making things soft and approachable yet structured. It leads to a clean and fresh finish of medium length.
La Cuvée is more than just a marketing exercise; it’s a totally new take on Laurent-Perrier’s flagship champagne. If you liked L-P Brut NV, you will enjoy this even more.
Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée NV has a recommended retail price of $69.95 and will be available from selected retailers and restaurants from the end of August across Australia.