Christelle Guibert visits Laurent-Perrier's Grand Siècle Reserve cellar to taste their latest releases.

Stepping into Laurent-Perrier’s Grand Siècle Reserve cellar you would be forgiven for thinking you’d wandered onto the set of the latest James Bond film by mistake. 

Opened in 2012 to coincide with Laurent-Perrier’s bicentenary, the vat room and state-of-the-art tasting area with subdued lighting setting off the slick black, grey and chromes, strike a note of serious sophistication with just a hint of Bond villain menace. 

This slick modernism is combined with plenty of reminders of the great house’s past.  Vintage glass bottles, pictures and other memorabilia adorn the walls of the old brick cellars which have been tunneled out of clay.

The Champagne house, known as Veuve Laurent-Perrier, was founded in 1812 and bought by Marie-Louise Lanson de Nonancourt in 1939. She looked after the business with her two sons and in 1945 Bernard de Nonancourt was named CEO. Today, the house is run by the two daughters and includes 150 hectares of their own vineyards and 1250 hectares under contract with loyal growers.