Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque 1985

The bottle is indeed very pretty.

To the wine’s appearance first, there’s little mousse apparent on pouring and a reticent bead thereafter; this certainly looks an aged wine. Colour is honey-gold with a pleasing richness of hue. Immediately a range of tertiary notes emerge from the glass, including a prominent browned apple note that is the clearest sign of age. The influence of oxidation isn’t overwhelming, though, and beneath it there is a complex aroma profile of citrus, mushroom, bread and an attractive nuttiness. Certainly one to smell at length.

The palate is surprisingly fresh, with good spritz in evidence and a fascinating tension between still-firm acid and a decidedly tertiary flavour profile. Cut apple is less obvious in the mouth, and the wine’s butterscotch note takes centre stage from the middle palate onwards. It’s rich and unctuous, mouthcoating in intensity and impressive in length, all the while freshened and firmed by spritz and acid. The elegance of its finish is especially fine, and I love the way caramel lingers on the tongue, becoming softer and a mere echo of itself some time after swallowing.

A nice start to an evening’s entertainment.

Price: $N/A
Closure: Cork
Source: Gift

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