Champagne Joseph Perrier, Cuvée Royale Brut

€48.99

This is THE wine that built the very fine reputation of the house of Joseph Perrier.

A truly delicious glass, this is subtle, fine and complex with notes of peach, apple and pear, alongside pineapple an lightly toasted almonds. Lively and yet supple, there is a delightful freshness that is never insipid or too limp - this is perfectly balanced between with tension of structure and prettiness of flavour.

The wine is made from almost exactly equal parts Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, which gives a genuinely regional balance (there is slightly more Chardonnay in practice, but it's imperceptible in the blend). Their vineyards are based on the slopes of the Marne and all face south, to get as much sunlight as possible; the volume from these vines accounts for about 20% of their total production requirements, with the rest coming from long-term agreements with local growers. One of the fascinating points about Champagne is that because of French inheritance laws, the ownership of land in the region is split among about 17,000 people each owning about 2 hectares, which makes the sourcing of grapes a very interesting and somewhat variable process.

The wine is made with 100% malolactic fermentation but has no use of oak barrels and is interestingly made with 20-30% reserve wines and about 75% of the wine of the last current vintage. They produce moderate quantities of this wine in Champagne terms, of just shy of a million bottles per anum; it's aged for years in the chalk caves that act as their cellars and is bottled using a Diam cork, which is the type of cork made by breaking down loads of other corks and then moulding them back together. This has the immediate effect of reducing cork taint in the wines from 3% to almost Zero. impressive stuff! It is said to hold shape better than traditional corks too, which should, in theory, make the wines age better and for longer. This is research in progress at the moment!

The Joseph Perrier story has a few cool point along the way - appointed by both Queen Victoria and Edward the 7th (hence the Cuvée Royale trademark), the wine was perfected because of the friendship of the grand-nephew of Perrier (who was the owner at the time) and one certain French scientist, Louis Pasteur, who was critically important to the wine industry (possibly moreso than the dairy industry even!). And another favourite historical piece (sadly totally historic now) is that it was the Champagne served on Concorde's first flight. Ultra-sonic Champagne.

It's a house that depends massively on export - over 70% of their volume is shipped outside of France and it has almost always been seen as a boutique, artisan house where quality would never be sacrificed in favour of quantity.

In the old days, we used to meet people and chat about wines over a cup of coffee. But when I met the export chap from Joseph Perrier, we met over charcuterie and glasses of Champagne made by this excellent, family-run and totally underrated house. Discussing the history of land guarantees for the price of grapes in the post-War era, climatic issues of the last 20 years, methods of disgorgement, dosage quantities and the different plots of land used by many different producers in the region, I had a fascinating time.

But what impressed me more than local and historical knowledge, was the ethos of attention to detail and quiet excellence that is manifested as humility, wrapping a core of nervy, focused tension in the wines. These are, first and foremost, delicious wines made from excellent parcels of grapes grown in the 23 hectares of the family vineyards in Chalons-en-Champagne, including the famed strip that sits in between Roederer's and Dom Perignan's most prized parcels. Cover crops grown between the vines to keep any spraying an absolute minimum. It's definitely working, as half of their vineyards are certified organic. Natalie Laplaige has been the cellar master since 2017 and came to the winery because of the freshness and purity that mark their character.

Stylistically the house sits between the leanness of Ayala and Lanson, and the richness of Charles Heidsieck and Louir Roederer, which is typically what is said about Pol Roger; so if you like any of these (and you really should) then this is very much for you.


Region: Champagne

Country: France

Grape(s): Pinot Noir, Chardonnay

Style: Fresh, Elegant, Complex, Bright

Best food matches: Sushi, St Stephen's Day, Shellfish, Poultry, Lobster, Fine Dining, Christmas Dinner

Alcohol: 12.5%

Why buy from us?

When you buy wine from The Allotment Wine Co. you're helping a small Irish company that in turn supports small, sustainable wine producers who grow the grapes and make amazing wines. We only work with partners who share a deep respect and connection with the land and its traditions, witnessed in a firm commitment to quality and sustainability. All of which makes for better wines.

Delivery & Returns

You'll get free delivery when you buy 12 x 75cl bottles of wine online from The Allotment, saving you €7.50.

We charge €7.50 per delivery for quantities less than that.

Our hours for processing orders are between 9am - 6pm Monday to Friday.

We pack your online wine order along the following timelines:

Wine orders for delivery in Dublin, received before 12pm on weekdays are prepared so that delivery should be expected the next working day.

Wine orders for nationwide delivery, received by 12pm on weekdays are prepared so that delivery should be expected two working days later.

Customer reviews

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Great choice and excellent service. Received my delivery the next day.
Paul H.
★★★★★
Amazing service from the get go!
I emailed Chris looking for wine recommendations for a birthday gift. Got a really speedy, helpful reply and not only that but he hand delivered it on time to the birthday girl wishing her a happy birthday. Absolutely bowled over by the service. Cannot recommend highly enough.
Michelle McM.
★★★★★
Could not recommend The Allotment enough. The selection is fantastic and each wine that I've drank from them has been utterly phenomenal. Delivery was no hassle and I had the wine at my door in 2 days. Couldn't have asked for a better experience.
Luke B.
★★★★★
Good range of interesting wines. Good personal attention to their orders. Very customer focused. I would be happy to recommend this company to any prospective customer.
Jim D.
★★★★★
A great experience ordering from The Allotment Wine Company. A wide variety of wines to try something new and at good prices with super quick delivery! Really convenient too as opposed to trying to find parking!
N. Dowling
★★★★★
Delicious and interesting range of wines delivered promptly to my door. Not far off that lovely feeling of coming back laden from a good wine store but without any of the traffic or the worry of breaking the wine en route (very impressive travel wrap).
M. Dorman
★★★★★
Chris fields a fine range of excellent, keenly-priced wines. Orders are safely packaged and dispatched efficiently and promptly. Strongly recommended.
David M.
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Great selection of wines, hassle free ordering, payment and delivery. Highly recommended.
Patrick H.
Hi, I'm Chris Gifford.

And you're very welcome to The Allotment Wine Co.

When you wine from me, you're supporting a small Irish business which in turn supports small, sustainable wine producers, as well as other small, dedicated Irish wine importers.

When selecting wines, I look for partners who share a deep respect and connection with the land and its traditions, witnessed in a firm commitment to quality and sustainability. All of which makes for better wines.