Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Champagne

Yellow with greenish tint color; pear, citrus, lemon on the nose; pear, lemon, yellow apple, pineapple on the palate.

Tart, very dry, light, clean, polished, balanced, dependable. With its lightness, performs very well as an aperitif. Nice lacy perlage, exciting crispness on the mid-palate that interestingly fades into creamy softness on the finish. Very easy drinker with nice complexity for price and type.

The winery traces roots to 1811. Mumm purchased the house in the 1950s; today it is part of the Pernod Ricardi portfolio. Perrier-Jouët is a negotiant house, meaning they purchase grapes from growers throughout Champagne and blend them to achieve a consistent house style largely unaffected by vicissitudes of particular place and climate.

Negotiant Champagnes have a tiny NM on the label, usually after name and location of the winery. NM stands for négociant manipulant. About 96 percent of the Champagnes available in the U.S. are made by negotiant Champagne houses. Some of the best Champagnes are NM, but many NM bottles are mass production, “industrial” wine, earning the disdain of some purists.

The opposite are grower Champagnes (indicated by the RM on the label; RM stands for récoltant-manipulant) made by growers who make their own wine from the grapes from their own vineyard. RM is not a guarantee of quality. There are RM efforts that fail, often because of adverse conditions in the particular vineyard, but quality RM Champagne is the royalty of Champagne. Often RM is made by smaller, family operations, while NM is made by the really big houses like Moet, Veuve Cliquot, and Perrier-Jouët.

You likely will get more distinctive pours from RM bottles. You likely will get more consistency—and sometimes lower pricing—from NM bottles.

Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Champagne is the house’s entry-level, negotiant offering. It competes with Veuve Clicquot. Both are easy to find. Perrier-Jouët also makes grower/RM bottles, but you will pay several multiples in price to enjoy those charming delights. Their Grand Brut goes for $43-45.

Perrier-Jouët website

Other photos: Perrier-Jouët’s Maison Belle Epoque, cellars

Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Champagne
Perrier-Jouët’s Maison Belle Epoque
Perrier-Jouët’s cellars