Launch of the Laurent-Perrier ’06 on the Belmond British Pullman

May 06, 15 Launch of the Laurent-Perrier ’06 on the Belmond British Pullman

Recently, I found myself rolling through the English countryside on a vintage train, drinking vintage Champagne. I was travelling on the Belmond British Pullman train for lunch and the launch of the 2006 vintage of  Laurent-Perrier Champagne.

2015-04-17 11.54.13Growing up in California, I never really  had much chance to travel by train but I’ve also been captivated by the idea and to this day, I still love going on a train trip, as long as it’s not on the London Underground. I had been invited to take a train ride and have lunch on the Belmond British Pullman train line. The Belmond was formerly known as the Orient Express but had a name change a few years ago. What hasn’t changed are the trains. Each carriage is an original that has been painstakingly restored.

2015-04-17 11.54.22The trains are sometimes called Palaces on Wheels and after having been on one, I can see why. From the polished mahogany doorways to the intricate murals on the lavatory floors, these carriages are one of a kind. The carriages were almost lost to posterity after the 1960’s when they were withdrawn from service in the 1960’s and ’70’s but in 1977, James B Sherwood attended an auction by Sotheby’s  featuring a few carriages and became hooked on the idea of restoring these carriages to their former glory and the Orient Express.

mosaics on the lavatory floor

mosaics on the lavatory floor

Today, thanks to James, we can all enjoy a train trip on these restored beauties. They are now branded under the Belmond name. Check out their website for information on dinners, special events, weekend escapes and even the original Orient Express journey from London to Venice.

However, we were there to taste champagne.  The MD of Laurent-Perrier, David Hesketh, was on board to lead us through a tasting of not only the 2006 but also the 2004, 2002 and non vintage as well as the Grande Siecle and Laurent Perrier Demi-Sec with lunch. It was a slightly extravegant lunch but we were lunching on one of the original “Palaces on Wheels”.

Laurent-Perrier MD, David Hesketh

Laurent-Perrier MD, David Hesketh

We did a small comparison tasting of the 3 Laurent-Perrier vintages. The 2002 was quite honeyed with pastry notes and good acidity, it was still light and delicate but still had lime and grapefruit notes to it. It was still evolving and will certainly still be good for years to come. The 2004 by contrast has evolved but David didn’t think it was going to improve with age, it was slightly sweeter on the palate but toasty and with good acidity. Their latest vintage, the 2006 was full of character with loads of lime and citrus on the nose and palate, an elegant wine that has plenty of potential.

I found them all to be fresh and delicate. I do like the Laurent-Perrier champagnes because of their finesse and delicacy. The current 2006 vintage is available at the retail price of £49.99, a good value coming from one of the major houses.

Norbert, serving up Laurent-Perrier

Norbert, serving up Laurent-Perrier

1 Comment

  1. Journey out of the country through Belmond British Pullman is really a wonderful experience. I would love to travel with that that.

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