Le Grand Siecle, Laurent-Perrier’s prestige cuvée, is acknowledged by aficionados and critics as one of the greatest expressions of Champagne.
Created in the 1950s, the thinking behind Grand Siecle is as clear – or grey – as a Champagne day.
Knowing full well the vagaries of the climate and how champagne can deliver such vast differences one vintage to the next, Bernard de Nonancourt (owner and head of the Champagne house at the time) realised that Nature was too unpredictable and unreliable to produce an outstanding champagne every year.
What if you were able to choose from not one but three exceptional years which complemented each other perfectly?
Each vintage – good enough on its own – would be even better with the others. It was a stroke of genius worthy of Harry Potter and his magic wand.
Launched in 1959, the first Grand Siècle was composed of the vintages of 1952, 1953 and 1955.
Comprising 55% Chardonnay and 45% Pinot Noir, Grand Siecle is composed of 11 of the 17 Grand Crus of Champagne. These include Ambonnay, Bouzy and Mailly for Pinot Noir; and Avize, Cramant and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger for Chardonnay.
The wine spends seven to eight years on lees before disgorgement. And can continue to age and improve very considerably in bottle after that.
There is a musical equivalent to Grand Siecle.
Like the wine comprising three vintages, the three-member group was also launched in 1959, the same year as the champagne.
Each member had a beautiful voice. However, when they sang together, their combined vocals achieved a musicality that was sublime.
I don’t think it too far-fetched to imagine that Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard and Diana Ross had also tasted the very first Grand Siecle. And were enthralled by the sparkle. They might even had been inspired by the bubbly when they named themselves The Supremes.
*On Friday 26 March 2021, savour Grand Siecle Nº24 (composed of 2007, 2006, and 2004), Laurent-Perrier 2007 (an excellent vintage and drinking deliciously now), Laurent-Perrier Rosé (100% Pinot Noir, the colour obtained by saignee), and the flagship Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée.