The 2002 has been widely acclaimed as one of the best. A few weeks ago Chef de Cave Richard Geoffroy decided to release a wine from 2003, a year when Champagne was hit by frost, hail, and an August heat wave – it seems to be a bit of a risk.
“We shouldn’t be afraid of hot years,” says Mr. Geoffroy. “We have to react to the condition of the year; there were some slight technical challenges but I’m very proud of this vintage.”
The 2003 vintage was made from grapes grown in the hottest summer in Champagne in 53 years. The vintage has slightly more Pinot Noir (60%) in the blend, with 40% Chardonnay. Although a powerful wine with plenty of fruit, it retains Dom Pérignon’s trademark finesse.
This vintage has character, but remains quintessentially Dom Pérignon with a round, rhythmical finish that dances delicately between mineral and floral flavors. To the skilled Chef de Cave, the 2003 is an intense memory and Richard Geoffroy beautifully captures this by saying, “I wish every single vintage could be as strong as 2003.”
Moët & Chandon, Épernay, Champagne, France
Price: £100 or €120 (est)