Laurent Perrier may just well be one of the most overlooked NV champagnes in the world. Something about the plain white pearl front label, simple golden capsule and small, un-obnoxious font type must help it hide well on the shop shelves – let alone the fact that it is typically stocked in smaller quantities than frequent-sale stalwarts Piper, Moet, Veuve Cliquot and Mumm.
In the world of marketing and brand appeal that is the world of champagne, you could be forgiven for almost never having it register a blip on your radar when shopping for a present (even for yourself).
In spite of this LP manages to be the 5th largest house in Champagne, located in the sleepy town of Tours-sur-Marne located smack bang in the middle of the region. Its simple labelling is by design as it evokes an air of class and elegance, the hallmark of the brand. It is a champagne for drinkers in the know, and a pioneer of many developments in champagne. The application of stainless steel fermentation tanks for base wines, developing an NV mainstream Rose and the clever use of nobility in its marketing (helping make champagne the luxury item it is today) highlighting the innovations LP has brought to the champagne world.
Founded in 1812, LP operates as a Negociant manipulant and is the parent company of a number brands, one of which (Salon) is uber luxurious. A strength of the brand lies in its Rose champagne, its NV rose being the world’s number 1 seller.
In line with the use of nobility as a marketing tool, LP bottles are subtly emblazoned with the seal of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. While Charlie’s tastes may be questioned for some things, perhaps his princely palate knows a good thing about NV champagne.
From: Tours-sur-Marne, Champagne, France
Cost & Source: $60 a bottle from most liquor stores
Blend Ratio: Pinot Noir/Chardonnay/Pinot Meunier:(35/50/15)
Aging: 3 Years minimum
Disgorged: 2014 (2011 Base Vintage)
Sipped: Late July 2016
In The Glass:
Look: A very nice pale golden colour, good translucence. Bubbles are vigorous with a nice, small bubble size.
Smell: LP Brut gives a nice sweet fruity “bouquet”, blended with a little bit of yeasty smells.
Taste: At a nice cold serving temperature straight from the fridge, LP Brut starts off with a really direct and zippy tingle and taste on your tongue. It’s not as sweet as the smell suggests (it has only a little bit of sugar added), probably due to the high use of chardonnay grapes (which typically produce dryness). It has clear, clean fresh apple and lemon rind flavours.
In spite of the high presence of Chardonnay, it never really kicks into becoming overly dry after it has settled down in your mouth. It’s just pleasant, fresh and mellow, with low acidity and a good, balanced transition across all of your mouths senses – ending up finishing sitting up on the roof of your mouth rather than almost completely on the tongue.
Length of this sensation is very good, and offers a great window for popping in matching food.
Notes: The champagne comes in a range of gift box styles rather than the one type, which is nice. One thing I have noticed is that LP Brut never goes on sale!
Party Potential: I have not yet seen a party with LP as the chief aperitif, but I think it deserves a good hard consideration for putting in the ice bucket. If you’re after a clear quality of champagne for your fancy canapes, LP Brut serve you well. If you are tired of the regular champers, I would strongly recommend LP Brut as your next BYO – although I’d watch out for Prince Charles trying to nick into your stash.
As a Gift: It would make a very good quality birthday present for anyone who loves champagne. I would gift this to one of my good friends on their birthday without a second thought.
At Home: Use for a properly special occasion, such as having your fave family and friends over for a sit-down dinner, or a fancily prepared in-house dinner date with your partner (just remember to light some candles).
Matching: Per my experiences, a match with seafood and sushi produced amazing results. With a good, whole mouth finish, it makes a great match to lightly salted foods. On its own, the quality of the bottle I had was amazing, and I would recommend drinking neatly when well chilled.
Score & Verdict:
A classic case of the one who dresses plainly, and sits just out of view, but if you rouse up some interest they are very surprising and rewarding. Lovely to spend time with, lingers nicely on your tongue – you’ll be left with good memories!
At $60 I feel it is good value for the quality.
How did I drink it?
I bought two bottles of LP brut for a special Omakase (Trust the Chef) sushi night (prepared by Sashimi Shinsengumi’s Matsui). The freshest sushi (including Otoro tuna) and Laurent Perrier made for a very memorable night!
How did you drink it?
And how did you find it? Let me know!
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