Vintage in Champagne is usually synonymous with excellence for Prestige Cuvées. Contrarily, Laurent-Perrier believes that only the art of assemblage can offer what nature can never provide, that is, the perfect year.
When Bernard de Nonancourt inherited the House from his mother in 1948 he held the ambition to position Laurent-Perrier at the highest level by creating a unique « Grande Cuvée ». By observing nature, it became apparent that a vintage even when exceptional, was not able to reach the perfection he sought. In Champagne each vintage is different, revealing various characteristics and styles. Through the ‘Art of blending’, Bernard de Nonancourt realized that he could bring together these differing attributes and use their complementarity in order to create the perfection he dreamt of.
Grand Siècle was founded upon this unique idea in 1959: to recreate the perfect year, the one that nature, on its own, cannot provide.
The expression of the perfect year is that of a great champagne wine that has long ageing potential and over time develops depth, intensity and aromatic complexity yet retains its freshness and vibrancy.
To reach this expression, Grand Siècle’s assemblage is based on principles that have now become immutable:
Three exceptional years, complementary in character are chosen from among the rare Laurent-Perrier vintages
A majority of Chardonnay complemented by Pinot Noir sourced exclusively from a maximum of 11 Grands Crus within the 319 Crus of the Champagne region
A minimum of 10 years ageing on lees in our cellars for bottles (75cl.) and longer for magnums (150cl.), thus delaying their release by a few years.
Time & patience
Whenever possible, the House has worked to recreate through each iteration, that is with each new blend of Grand Siècle, the perfect year. Each iteration requires patience and time before being revealed: patience to wait for the appropriate exceptional vintage years and the time on lees necessary to reach the desired harmony and aromatic complexity. Due to the format, Grand Siècle in Magnum (150cl) is deliberately aged for a longer time on lees. This additional maturation leads to a further expression of Grand Siècle displaying greater aromatic depth, density and a silkier texture.
Since 1959, Grand Siècle has been revealed only 25 times in bottle format and 23 times in magnum.