Perrier-Jouet at the Gherkin 30 St Mary Axe City
Having spent the early part of the evening at the press launch of The Cheesegrater (see our review), Fiona and I zip-wired a few floors down to the 39th floor of the Gherkin (OK we walked…) for the launch of the Perrier-Jouet Limited edition Belle Époque Rose 2005.
Jonathan Sims, brand manager for Perrier-Jouet explained that the champagne house was founded in 1811 by Adele Jouet and Pierre Perrier in Epernay. It may have been Adele’s influence that created the light, elegant feminine style that characterises the Perrier-Jouet brand and with only 7 chef de caves in 203 years, the present incumbent Herve Deschamps took over in 1993, a high level of consistency has been achievable. The house owns 65 hectares of Chardonnay vines in the village of Cramant which is reputed to have the best vines in the whole of the champagne producing area .
The original enamelled Art Nouveau Perrier-Jouet bottle was designed in 1902 by artist Emile Magnet.
After a refreshing glass of Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut on arrival, the house’s core non-vintage wine, we settled down for a serious tasting.
Belle Époque Blanc de Blancs 2002 is 100% Chardonnay grown on the two best plots in Cramant. It is a light, elegant wine with terrific balance and finesse.
Belle Époque 2006 is the number three prestige cuvée in the world. Full bodied, but still elegant it is 50% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir and 5% Pinot Meunière.
But we were really here for the Belle Époque Rose 2005 limited edition bottle. With an extraordinary Brazilian hummingbird hovering inside the bottle designed by artist Vik Muniz, there are only 5000 bottles being produced. In the UK it is only available at Harvey Nichols or the Gherkin. With fabulously silky bubbles and strawberry and raspberry notes it is a blend of 50% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir and 5% Pinot Meunière and would be wonderful for any celebration.
After the tasting we went up into the the very top of The Gherkin into the glass dome which has been transformed into a night club and is an amazing space for any party. Who knew champagne and a pickle could be such fun!