2012 is the 30th opus of this cuvée. Since 1938, and the acquisition of Laurent-Perrier by the Nonancourt family, it has been crafted to be a subtle balance between ‘the house style and the vintage style,’ according to Michel Fauconnet, Laurent-Perrier’s chef de caves. The Pinot Noir, which comprises half the blend and which Fauconnet describes as very ‘powerful’, is sourced from five villages: Bouzy, Verzy, Aÿ, Mailly, and for the first time in the history of this cuvée, Rilly-la-Montagne, which is not a grand cru village. The Chardonnay, which makes up the other half of the blend, is sourced from the villages of Le-Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger, Cramant and Chouilly. ‘The year 2012 was characterised by successive climatic accidents. There was a major winter frost as well as a spring frost, not to mention 10 or so episodes of hail, causing significant damage. A hailstorm on the seventh of June caused extensive damage in various villages,’ said Laurent-Perrier. In spite of this, the dry and sunny summer brought about a beautiful maturity. With an energetic yet bright bouquet, the Laurent-Perrier 2012 possesses gorgeous aromas of orchard fruits, herbs, lemon and spices, with a hint of menthol. Calcareous on the palate, the structure is medium- to full-bodied, with a laser-like texture and a long and penetrating finish. It is undeniably one of the frank successes of the vintage, and while it has no need for further ageing, it may surprise us even further in the future.