Review: Joseph Perrier NV Brut Cuvee Royal

Joseph Perrier is a medium sized champagne house located in the town of Chalons-en-Champagne, south east of Reims. A key pride of the house is its multi-generational leadership, since its inception in 1825 by Joseph Perrier himself until 1998 when it was purchased by the Alain Thienot group – which has strong presence in the French wine industry. In order to keep this heritage going, the house is presided in the modern era by Jean-Claude Fourmon of the family line. Another source of JP’s pride is its 3km worth of beautiful cellars, which are naturally lit via light shafts.

Whilst an uncommon brand to most of the modern champagne buyers, JP was once a favourite of HRH Queen Victoria, and the royal seal adorning each bottle is a regal reminder of this preference.

JP currently has 9 varieties on offer, from standard NV Brut, Rose and Blanc De Blanc styles to a handful of carefully selected premium vintages. Today we look at the entry level fare NV Brut.

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Details:

From: Chalons-en-Champagne, Champagne, France
Code: NM-266-001
Cost & Source: $52 a bottle from Dan Murphy’s

Blend Ratio: Pinot Noir/Chardonnay/Pinot Meunier: (35/35/30)
Aging: 3 Years Average
Disgorged: Unknown
Sipped: September 2016

In The Glass:

Look: Soft Golden colour, with bubbles that are vigorous with a strong string of fairly large bubbles.

Smell: JP Brut gives a slight pear oriented fruity aroma, with a little bit of yeasty notes.

Taste: JP NV Brut Cuvee Royal is a very zippy and dry style oriented champagne and this is obvious at an early stage. Citric rind flavours are dominant, as is the acidity of the wine itself delivering a statement punch to the middle of your tongue. The flavour profile does not stray too far beyond its original introduction, with low sweetness present.

If you are a fan of drier style wines than Cuvee Royal may be your preference, however others may find it a little too dry and acidic to bear on its own, especially as it runs harsh and strongly dry on the tongue for a while after. A clever match with food is key to exploiting the persistence of these sensations and steer your tastebuds toward another direction.

Notes: Joseph Perrier is certainly one of the more adventurous houses in its marketing, with Jean-Claude Fourmon being in a lot of videos that you can find on the JP site. Also of note are the QR codes on the bottle that link you to one of these videos – where the man’s passion is clearly evident.

Recommendations:

Party Potential: I think that Joseph Perrier is an ideal champagne if you are hosting a party with matching food/wines combinations and vary each course. As a drink on its own I feel it is too strongly acidic to accommodate for everyone’s tastes. I would only BYO if you find its style is to your liking.

As a Gift: JP Cuvee Royal is sold in gift boxes, and I would say it would make a decent present to someone you know is adventurous with wines, but not so much for general drinkers.

At Home: Use for casual picking plates seated on the lounge.

Matching: Per my experiences, a match with meats that have strong salty or brine driven flavours to neutralise the acids seems to create a nice combination. Oysters and a variety of salt-cured meats will run quite well with it.

Score & Verdict:

5.25/10

Strong and assertive, straight to the point. They don’t mind some physicality in your rendezvous but at times they may leave you uncomfortable. Keep it to food dates and infrequent meet-ups.

At $52 I feel it is average value for the quality.

How did I drink it?

I bought a bottle for a weekend away in Melbourne. I had it with a range of salamis, cheeses and homemade hommus selected from the Queen Victoria Markets (Ironically she loved this plonk too) and it worked quite well with elements of the combinations.

How did you drink it?

And how did you find it? Let me know!

 

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