Perrier Jouet is the quiet next-door neighbour to loud and proud champagne giant Moet and Chandon, on the Avenue De Champagne in Epernay, Champagne. The Perrier Jouet house was established in 1811. It is famous for its flower-laden branding, particularly that of the prestigious and fancily painted Belle Epoqué vintage champagne bottles that you can spot in the special cabinets of most liquor stores. It is the 10th largest house in all of champagne and produces 3 million bottles per year.
The house operates as a Negociant Manipulant. It is also one of the Grande Marques & Maisons (Grand Brands & Houses) of Champagne.
No longer a family owned producer, in current guise it is owned by famous French liquor group Pernod Ricard (which makes it a sister brand to G.H. Mumm). This offers PJ extensive distribution around the world and makes it somewhat easy to find and obtain.
While not as well known in the public eye as other brands, Grand Brut NV is never an unwelcome sight when served and it won’t lighten the pocket all that much more above the average price of a NV Champers while being a bit more exclusive.
From: Epernay, Champagne, France
Cost & Source: $55-$60 a bottle from most liquor stores
Blend Ratio: Pinot Noir/Chardonnay/Pinot Meunier: (40/20/40)
Aging: 2.5 Years
Disgorged: 2014 (2011 Base Vintage)
Sipped: Late June 2016
In The Glass:
Look: A very nice golden colour – similar to that of the bottle trimming!
Smell: This one smells like a Pastry with Herbal, Earthy and Fungal notes (which can be off putting). No trace of sweetness here.
Taste: The first sip is a sweet and lemony one, complete with the tartness. The bubbles are quick to disappear once poured, so there is only a little tingling going on once it hits your tongue.
Once there and settled in, it has a soft level of dryness that doesn’t stay active for very long – not what it promises on the label. It feels a bit flat.
Flavour wise, has a strong character of lemon rind and some fresh red apples. The lack of acidic intensity makes it quiet pleasant all the same, but just without much wow-factor that one would hope for in a more upmarket brand.
The aftertaste of this PJ fades off the tastebuds reasonably quickly – a short length, offering a little bit of time to pop some food on it for interesting flavour combos.
Notes: The bottle I sampled (twin flute giftbox) came with a nice pair of PJ branded flutes – with good glass thickness.
Party Potential: I have yet to see a party with PJ as the quaffing plonk of choice, but I have no doubts that it would make a very good impression stacked in the ice bucket. If you’re out to show off a bit of classy pizzazz at a BYO, PJ would also serve you well.
As a Gift: It would make a good birthday present for someone who’s either a bit adventurous and not so brand conscious, or someone who is a bit of a wine lover. I would gift this to one of my good friends on their birthday.
At Home: Use for a slightly special occasion, such as pre-drinks when having special friends over for a nice dinner, or an in-house dinner date with your partner.
Matching: As with most champagnes, a match with savoury foods will extract the best results. With a short finish, I would recommend eating something very quickly however! On its own, the quality of the bottle I had was borderline on what I would recommend to drink neatly, although the flatness of my experience made it almost table wine like in only a few minutes.
These recommendations are based on the premise of a good bottle. The bottle I had might not have been optimal, although the flavour was still pleasant and had very fine bubbles. Certainly worth a revisit and re-review at a later time.
Score & Verdict:
Presents well and looks appealing, but is a bit soft and hesitant underneath. Still nice to spend time with, but was not the intense bundle of hot action you got your hopes up for.
At $55 I feel it is only average value for the quality.
How did I drink it?
This was the first thing I grabbed from my fridge for a quick, informal celebratory drink with close friends to celebrate the arrival of their new child back at their home. They enjoyed it (in fact, they enjoy a frequent wine)!
How did you drink it?
And how did you find it? Let me know!
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