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While champagne shows the character of a specific harvest, non-vintage brut exemplifies the style of a particular House. Freshness, elegance and balance, all of which are typical of Laurent-Perrier's wines, are found in the Brut L-P year after year.

Chardonnay, is the dominant grape variety and its proportion is unusually high for a non-vintage champagne blend, being double the average. The blend is made of wines from more than 55 crus or villages and between 10 and 20% of reserve wines are used. Brut L-P is aged on its lees for approximately three years and only a very light dosage is used to preserve its balance and natural freshness.

The colour is a pale golden hue, with fine and persistent bubbles. The nose is fresh and delicate, showing good complexity with its hints of citrus and white fruit. With its elegant style, Brut L-P has led the way in making champagne the ideal apéritif. Perfectly balanced, with crisp flavours and finesse, it is also an ideal companion for fish, poultry and white meat.

Just why this prestigious Champagne house is often overlooked remains a mystery. Quality is the keynote, with individual character and personality to the fore. Chardonnay dominates with pinot noir at the heart and a small quantity of pinot meunier to give roundness and fruitiness. Glace fruits and jasmine greet the nose with hints of pink grapefruit. The palate is long and fine with intense white stone-fruit flavours, hints of warm brioche and honeysuckle. The bright acid finish gives a sense of energy and vitality; Peter Bourne, Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine

2005 base vintage and up to 20% reserve wines; 50% chardonnay, 35% pinot noir, 15% pinot meunier; aged 4 years on lees; 11g/L dosage. Chardonnay's representation has been notched up by five percent and the dosage lowered by one gram, making for a refreshing aperitif style. A core of lemon zest, lemon blossom and white summer fruits is layered with complexity built over four years on lees: nuances of toast, butter and nuts. A fine bead and attractive, soft minerality flow into a finish with an impression of lemon sherbet from the sweetness of the dosage, offset by a cut of acidity. Date tasted: Jul 2011 in Tours-sur-Marne and Aug 2011 in Sydney. Price: $75. Tyson Stelzer, The Champagne Guide 2012-13

Steering a little more toward yeast than it does to fruitiness, but never giving up to dryness, this straightforward Brut shows a bit of brioche sweetness set atop a slightly citrusy note and more subtle suggestions of minerals. It is continuous without being all that effusive, and only a minor touch of late-arriving coarseness holds it back from higher marks. Connoisseurs Guide; December 2013



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