Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Champagne is amazing. Match it with the incomparable food at Le Bernardin and it’s just complete insanity.
We started out with some 2002 Blanc de Blancs (made only with Chardonnay grapes). This is only the fourth time they’ve ever even made a vintage Blanc de Blancs. Most people go crazy for BdB’s, but I’ll tell you right now they’re never my favorites. I mean I wasn’t gonna spit it out or anything, let’s not get crazy, but there’s like a lightness to them that just makes them not my top pick. I know BdB freaks will think I’m crazy and if you like them you’ll love this one, but my palate is my palate. Anyway, it was paired with these incredible “barely cooked” scallops in an even more incredible warm brown butter dashi sauce, all in an absolutely beautiful shell presentation. Fantastic pairing, however you feel about BdB!
Next up was the Belle Epoque 2006 (remember, vintage Champagnes are only made in the best growing years and aged for at least 3 years.) This was my jam: 45% Pinot Noir, 5% Pinot Meunier, 50% Chardonnay, 100% amazing! Yellow apple with a dash of pear and fresh almond and just so elegant! Hervé Deschamps, their chef de caves (head winemaker), said that it could age for another 15 years. Who am I to disagree? Ugh, I looove great Champagne and all those teeny bubbles. So take this and pair it with some sea bass in a Champagne “nage” sauce – pchwwwww! That was the sound of my mind exploding.
And last, for dessert we had the 2004 Belle Epoque rosé (45% Pinot Noir, 55% Chardonnay) paired with this mango ginger situation and black sesame ice cream. Normally I don’t like rosé with dessert – the basic rule is that your wine has to be sweeter than the dessert. But would Le Bernardin ever make a lame mistake like that? Rhetorical question. The Belle Epoque rosé isn’t sweet, but it was a great complement to the sesame.
Also, don’t you think Perrier-Jouët has the most beautiful Champagne bottles? The anemone flowers were designed by Emile Gallé in 1902. It was all part of the the Art Nouveau movement which tried to incorporate nature and poetry into daily life. The anemones were put on the first Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque vintage in 1964, and I think they look so pretty on the green and clear bottles.
You can get the Blanc de Blancs 2002 for around $300, 2006 vintage for $140, and the rosé for about $250 (oh come on, you’re worth it!).