- The Washington Times - Monday, December 8, 2003

Laurent-Perrier, Brut “L-P” Champagne, nv, $30.

For a “grande marque” champagne house, Laurent-Perrier maintains a pretty low profile in Washington. That’s a shame, because the wines can be superb. The current release of nonvintage brut, labeled “L-P,” provides a good introduction to the Laurent-Perrier style. Light and fresh, with a marked citrus character, it tastes fresh and elegant, and so makes a wonderful holiday treat.

Devastated by war and economic depression in the first half of the last century, Laurent-Perrier recovered to become the largest family owned house in Champagne, France, and one of the biggest brands in the whole region. Its wines, although perhaps not as familiar as some others in this market, are well worth getting to know.

The “L-P” brut is made from 45 percent chardonnay, 40 percent pinot noir and 15 percent pinot meunier. The chardonnay gives the wine its delicacy and finesse; the two dark grapes provide it with body and structure.

Previous releases of “L-P” sometimes have seemed almost too delicate, but the wine now on sale offers plenty of enticing flavor. Delectably dry, it does what any top-notch champagne should do, as one sip leaves you thirsty and eager for another.

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