Via hologram Dom Perignon declares 2003 vintage
2003 was a tough year to be a grape in Champagne. First they had to contend with an unusually cold winter followed by a deceptively warm spring only to be zapped by hail and not once, but twice by frost, the worst of which was on April 11th destroying up to 3/4 of the Côte des Blancs Chardonnay crop. To add insult to injury that was followed by one of the hottest summers for 53 years. They say that the vines should suffer but honestly, this was almost too much for even the hardiest vine. The grapes that managed to survive were harvested at the earliest date since records began in 1822.
Chef de Cave, Richard Geoffroy felt despite the adverse conditions that he could make a wine worthy of Dom Perignon and even calls the 2003 vintage a “Challenge to Creation”. The 2003 was unveiled at a simultaneously transmitted event in 5 cities, New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Paris and London. Although there was a video hookup, Richard was also present via hologram, too cool for school. He took questions from the various cities and commented that it was…
“a real challenge for the creation of Dom Pérignon. I needed to interpret it differently. It was a risk, a push-back of the boundaries, which may be rewarded now. My wish is for Dom Pérignon to remain in the history of Champagne as one of the greatest witnesses of the 2003 Vintage.”
So how did the 2003 fare? Speaking to various champagne professionals who were present, the wine was certainly not typical Dom Perignon. That’s not to say it did not have merit but it was a different beast, starting off with a nutty and candied fruit nose, dipping into licorice notes on the palate – a surprisingly mineral filled palate, a hint of salinity at the end, a vibrant wine, drinking well now but one that has aging capacity.
Drinking it on it’s own we were able to appreciate the nuances of the wine but there was canapes served alongside the wine as well. Truffled egg and caviar and jellied beetroot went quite nicely. But who doesn’t like caviar and champagne? or truffles?
Kudos to Richard Geoffroy for declaring a vintage in one of the most difficult years in recent Champagne memory. It will be interesting to see how this wine evolves and if it truly is a vintage champagne. So far, so good. Dom Perignon 2003 will be available in the UK from February 2012 at the rrp of £120.
Do you have a memorable experience with Dom Perignon? Tell us in the comments section…