This weekend, 12 of the world’s top wine and champagne experts flew from all corners of the globe to the boutique Champagne House Perrier-Jouet for the chance to taste 20 historic vintages from the House’s own cellars, including the oldest champagne in the world: Perrier-Jouet Vintage 1825.
Each sip would have been worth hundreds of Pounds/ Euros/ Dollars at auction, according to the Head of the International Wine Department at Sotheby’s, Serena Sutcliffe MW, who co-hosted the tasting with Perrier-Jouet Chef de Cave, Herve Deschamps.
“It is virtually impossible to assign a value to the 1825 vintage – we’ve never seen anything like it on the market! This was, quite simply, the opportunity of a lifetime tasting such exceptional, historic vintages.”
The lucky tasters are reported to have burst into applause as chef de cave, Herve Deschamps, pulled the cork. Much to their disappointment, he didn’t give them an encore.
French critic Michel Bettane said the wine was ‘unbelievable’.
Tasters reported that the wine was heavily oxidized and had lost its sparkle. Sotheby’s Serena Sutcliffe MW had never tasted Champagne this old. ‘It must have been incredibly powerful and extremely sweet when young,’ she said.
The tasting included magnums of Belle Epoque from 1985, 1982 and 1971 and its debut 1964 vintage.
Bettane hailed 1928 as the greatest Champagne vintage of the twentieth century while the 1911 was ‘still young’, according to Sutcliffe.
At the tasting Perrier JouÃ«t opened a series of nineteenth century vintages with the highlights being 1825, 1846 and 1858.
The private event was organised to mark the release of the House’s inaugural vintage of the 21st Century, Perrier-Jouet Millesime 2002.
The tasting also included the renowned “PJ 1874″ – heralded as the most expensive champagne in the world when it was sold at a world famous auction in 1885.
Source: Reuters / Decanter