From one harvest to the next – Richard Geoffroy

images“In only a few weeks my attention will be fully devoted to the 2015 vintage. The month of August is the calm before the storm, the perfect time to reflect on the past and contemplate the tasks to come. Since my last recap on the 2014 harvest I have had the opportunity to taste the wines several times.

In 2014 the selection of vineyards and grapes themselves were of utmost importance. The sanitary conditions created a scarcity effect, and we could only hope to reach our goal of excellence through careful and drastic sorting. The 2014 vintage was certainly heterogeneous: however there were hidden gems to be found throughout Champagne. Thankfully, through the diversity and quality of our grape sources, we could afford to be picky and to choose fruit only from the best vineyards.

The Pinot Noir grapes were few but had reached a high level of maturity. They contributed tropical aromas of exotic fruits, and were marked with generosity, fullness and amazing length. The Chardonnays, also quite mature and of high quality, were able to provide the much need acidic backbone to bring balance on the palate.

It is again too early to offer a final pronouncement about the 2014 vintage, which was certainly the most challenging since 2005. In this context I am already quite satisfied with what we have been able to achieve.”

Richard Geoffroy
Chef de Cave, Dom Pérignon

Champagne 2012 will be an ‘exceptional’ vintage

Champagne producers Dom Perignon, Philipponnat and Champagne Barons de Rothschild have confirmed they will make a 2012 vintage.

Despite what vignerons called one of the worst growing seasons they had seen for decades, with April frosts, hailstorms, and one of the wettest summers on record, they are optimistic for 2012 vintage quality.
‘The quality and the intensity are definitely there to make an outstanding vintage,’ Dom Perignon chef de cave Richard Geoffroy told Decanter.

Winegrowers said the warm weather in August was a saving grace. As harvest grew closer it became apparent that the small amounts of grapes on the vines were of excellent quality. In September as grapes were picked and pressed, often at close to 11% alcohol, the growers were amazed at the concentration of flavour, natural sugar and acidity, then a talk of a potential vintage started to spread.

‘The base wines show a lovely richness as well as the acidity needed to make outstanding and long-lived Champagnes,’ Jean-Phillipe Moulin, director of wine making at Champagne Barons de Rothschild and Paul Goerg. ‘We will definitely bottle a vintage for both brands.’

Charles Philipponnat at Champagne Philipponat agreed. ‘2012 is an exceptional vintage and especially promising for Pinot Noir,’ he said, and was echoed by at least three other producers, including Champagne Boizel and Champagne Tarlant.

Benoit Tarlant said the quality of all three grape varieties was ‘excellent – something which is extremely rare’.
He added that he would make less non-vintage this year. ‘It would be a pity not to make a decent amount of vintage wine, even if it means we have a little less of of our non-vintage cuvee.’

The harvest average in 2012 was just under 9,000 kg/hectare – significantly lower than the maximum allowance of 11,000kg/hectare.

Source: Decanter

230 FIFTH Cuts the Mustard With World’s Most Expensive Hot Dog for Charity

To honor July 23 as National Hot Dog Day, 230 FIFTH Rooftop Bar & Penthouse Lounge, New York’s largest rooftop bar, has re-imagined an American culinary icon for one percenters who like to do good while indulging their Champagne tastes with the 230 FIFTH Dog — at $2,300 it is the world’s priciest hot dog, all sales will be donated to City Harvest, the food rescue organization dedicated to feeding New York City’s men, women and children.

The new world record-setting 230 FIFTH Dog is a riff on a conventional hot dog with all the fixings by 230 FIFTH Executive Chef Johnny Benedetti utilizing the most expensive and / or finest luxury ingredients. They start with the foot-long dog itself made of richly marbled wagyu beef dry aged for 60 days by DeBragga, New York’s Butcher®, ($1225 for a dry aged seven-rib roast from DeBragga) and laced with black truffles. It rests on a brioche bun toasted with white truffle butter and is topped by New York City’s own organic $9-a-bottle W Ketchup, seasoned with saffron to make it even more precious, and by Mustarde de Charroux imported from France for $35.

The accoutrements continue with Vidalia onions caramelized in Dom Perignon Champagne and 100-year-old balsamic vinegar (the $389 a bottle Mussini Ill Grande Vecchio) and house-made organic sauerkraut braised in Louis Roederer Cristal and inflected with rare platinum oscetra caviar (the finest caviar legally available in the U.S. since the 2005 ban on Iranian beluga). Finally, the decadent dog is capped with house-made relish from Gordy’s Pickle Jar sweet chips ($10 a jar) and sparkling with gold leaf.

The 230 FIFTH Dog will be available daily as of Monday, July 30, to anyone interested in a unique taste experience and helping fight hunger in New York City by placing a 48-hour advance order by calling (212) 725-4300 or emailing with “Hot Dog” in the subject line.

The hot dog eating elite can savor this one-of-a-kind meal either on 230 FIFTH’s expansive, palm tree-punctuated 14,000-square foot roof deck or in the Penthouse Lounge with its floor-to-ceiling window walls. Wherever they savor it, 230 FIFTH Dog purchasers will have bragging rights to having consumed the world’s most expensive hot dog, while having helped fight hunger in New York City by supporting City Harvest.

230 FIFTH is located at 230 Fifth Avenue, between 26th and 27th Streets. It is open 365 days a year until 4 a.m., from 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call 212-725-4300 or visit

Fotoreportage: Richard Geoffroy natürlich (Chef de cave von Dom Pérignon)

Geschrieben und fotografiert von Liz Palmer

Diese Fotoreportage ist eine Sammlung von Fotos, die während meinem Interview mit Richard Geoffroy gemacht wurden. Sie übermitteln die Ausdrücke und Bewegungen des Kellermeisters Dom Pérignon.

Auf dem Land der Abtei

Ich habe Richard Geoffroy an der Abtei Hautvillers getroffen, himmlisches Heim im Champagne, wo der Benediktiner Mönch Dom Pierre Pérignon im 17. Jahrhundert Forschung über Champagnerweine betrieb.

Richard Geoffroy war Kellermeister für Moët & Chandons Cuvée Dom Pérignon 20 Jahre lang und er hat nicht vor, innezuhalten. Freundlich und entspannt, empfängt er mich mit einem warmen Lächeln.


Der Wissenschaftler am Werk: konzentriert, passt er auf kleinere Details auf und eifert nach Vollkommenheit – Weine widerspiegeln generell ihre Winzer. Ich war total begeistert, Wein mit einem internationalen Virtuose des Champagners zu kosten. Ich bremste mich allerdings mit eleganter Mäßigung.

Richard Geoffroys Kommentare:

“Ich strebe nach einer übergangslosen, seidenartigen Textur, aber keiner belastenden oder mächtigen Struktur.”
“Dom Pérignon muss leidenschaftlich und lang sein.”

“Dom Pérignons Ziel ist, Freude und Vergnügen zu beschaffen!” Richard Geoffroy
“Perfekt ausgewogen!” Liz Palmer


Reportage photo vérité: Richard Geoffroy au naturel (chef de cave de Dom Pérignon)

Rédigé et mis en images par Liz Palmer

Ce reportage photographique est un recueil d’images prises lors de mon interview avec Richard Geoffroy, chef de cave de Dom Pérignon, révélant ses expressions et mouvements du moment.

En extérieur, sur les terres de l’abbaye

J’ai rencontré Richard Geoffroy à l’abbaye d’Hautvillers, la céleste demeure de Champagne où au 17e siècle, un moine bénédictin du nom de Dom Pierre Pérignon mena des recherches et des expérimentations sur les vins de Champagne.

Richard Geoffroy fut chef de cave pendant près de 20 ans chez Moët & Chandon pour la cuvée Dom Pérignon, et il n’a pas l’intention de s’arrêter là. Il m’accueille d’un sourire chaleureux, l’air sympathique et détendu.


Le scientifique en pleine action : concentré, attentif au moindre détail, aspirant à la perfection…les vins reflètent généralement la personnalité du vigneron. J’étais plus qu’enchantée d’assister à une dégustation avec un virtuose du champagne de renommée internationale. Toutefois je me contins, ne laissant paraître que modération et sobriété.

Commentaires de Richard Geoffroy:

« Je recherche une texture soyeuse, sans accroc. Je ne veux pas de quelque chose de lourd ou de puissant. »
« Le Dom Pérignon doit être vibrant et long. »

« Ce qui importe est que le Dom Pérignon procure du plaisir et de la joie ! » Richard Geoffroy
« Un équilibre parfait ! » Liz Palmer

Liz Palmer @champagnehouses