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PERRIER JOUET 1998 FLEUR DE CHAMPAGNE

GIFT BOX WITH SATIN LINING
&
2 HAND PAINTED CHAMPAGNE FLUTES
EPERNAY, FRANCE
PERRIER JOUET 1998 FLEUR DE CHAMPAGNE

After a patient search for a master glassmaker capable of reproducing a bottle with the 1902 Galle design, Perrier Jouet launched in 1969, its famous "flower bottle" with an arabesque design of anemones.  The first bottles of Fleur de Champagne revealed a Champagne of vivacious delicacy, the epitome of the refined and engaging style of the Art Nouveau movement.  Since then, it has been the signature Champagne of Perrier Jouet and is considered one of the world's most celebrated Champagnes.

VINEYARDS

Fleur de Champagne is the marriage of the vey best prestige growths selected among the most famed "terroirs" of the great wine growing regions found in Cramant, Avize, Ay, Dizy, Mailly and Verzenay, as well as 24 other prestigious "crus".  The combined rating of these vineyards averages 98 percent.  The Pinot Noir for this wine comes from 98 percent to 99 percent rated vineyards in Ay, Dizy, Mailly and Verzenay and the Chardonnay comes from 100 percent rated vineyards in Cramant and Avize.  On the slope of the famous Cote des Blancs, Cramant is without a doubt the finest vineyard in the Champagne district, renowned for its Chardonnay grapes - the essential component in the most refined Champagnes.  Perrier Jouet was in fact the first Champagne house to recognize the special merit of Chardonnay and, soon after it was founded, purchased a number of Chardonnay vineyards of unique merit.

HARVEST

Harvesting began on September 18,1995 in the Cote des Blancs for Chardonnay which was followed by the Vallee de la Marne, the Montagne de Reims, Aube and Aisne.  In a few vineyards which ripened later, harvesting did not begin until early October.

WINEMAKING

In the cellar, modern stainless steel tanks allow for the perfect temperature control, which is essential for the proper fermentation of base wines.  Once fermented and racked, "Chef de Caves" Herve Deschamps began tasting from over 300 separate wines of which he chose 120 base wines to masterfully blend for the 1995 Fleur de Champagne.

The Champagne was then aged for five years on the yeast in the house's historic "champenois" aging cellars which are tunneled directly into the chalky soil.  The Champagne caves, which run 50 feet deep and remain at a constant temperature of 52 degrees F, shelter millions of bottles that span numerous vintages.  It is here that the Fleur de Champagne was aged in order to bring out the complexities and aging potential of wine made from a high percentage of "grand cru" vineyards.  Prior to "dosage", the wines were disgorged by employing a system called disgorgement "a la glace", which was pioneered by Charles Perrier nearly 100 years ago.  This freezing method removes the sediment which settles in the wine during the aging process.

WINEMAKER'S NOTES

A blend of approximately half Chardonnay and half Pinot Noir with small amounts of Pinot Meunier, this crystal bright Champagne is elegant and distinctive, opening with aromas of fresh pineapple and grapefruit, warning into complex scents of pear and ending with wood and leather notes.  The bead is intense with brisk effervescence, swirling up into a generous and persistent mousse.  It is a balanced, extremely refined wine that, if properly stored, shoud keep from five to seven years or more, especially of bottled in magnums or jeroboams.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

Lively bubbles and a fine, persistent mousse, matched by a crisp body make this a superb wine to be enjoyed with food.  The Fleur de Champagne pairs well with smoked oysters, game hens, delicate Japanese fish dishes, Fettuccini Alfredo or risotto.

STATISTICS

"Chef de Caves" (winemaker):        Herve Deschamps
Appellation:                                           Champagne
Composition:                                   45% Pinot Noir
                                                   50% Chardonnay
                                                  5% Pinot Meunier
Style:                                                             Brut
Alcohol                                                       12.5%
Dosage (sweetness):                                      0.9%
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