When asked about the highlights of 2014, the Rosé Paradox menu, honoring Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 2003, immediately comes to mind. Back in March, I invited nine chefs from all over the world, each at the top of their craft, to celebrate the Dom Pérignon Rosé Paradox. The challenge ahead was perfectly encapsulated by David Deshaies: “Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 2003 is unusual, you have to open your mind with this kind of wine. You can go in every direction, it is all about being creative in texture, in provocation.”
Indeed, 2003 was a year of all superlatives, a year of extremes, the warmest vintage in 53 years and one of the earliest harvests ever. As I explained in a previous entry, Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 2003 is the wine of all paradoxes: voluptuous and hedonistic yet possessing an almost theatrical depth; incredibly intense yet exhibiting a silky and fleshy texture. As such, Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 2003 is the Dark jewel of Dom Pérignon, an ode to Pinot Noir: witty, vibrant, singing, dancing.
The 3 days of “creative combustion” in Hautvillers and Paris lead to the creation of a unique 11-course menu, each chef contributing his own vision and sensitivity:
— The Dom Pérignon Rosé Paradox Menu —
Salmon, rabbit and “hazelnut” butter salad – Matteo Baronetto (Del Cambio, Italy)
Pike quenelles with black truffle, lobster sauce – Laurent André (Royal Monceau, France)
Oyster with Galangal orchata – Ricard Camarena (Ricard Camarena Restaurant, Spain)
Crispy pea Vichyssoise – Karim Lakhani (New York Palace Hotel, United States)
Duck breast onion carbonara, fig-cacao sauce – David Deshaies (Villard Michel Richard, United States)
Hamachi sashimi ceviche style, rhubard and scallop crisp – Oliver “Ollysan” Lange (Serpentine Gallery, United Kingdom)
Roasted brioche, pigeon breast and rhubarb – Nenad Mlinaveric (Park Hotel Vitznau, Switzerland)
Marinated wild sea bass topped with Oscietra cavar champagne jelly, pickled cauliflower and lemon confit – Renald Epié (Al Mahara, Dubai)
Lamb ribs with Oaxaca yellow mole – Ricardo Munoz Zurita (Azul Historico, Mexico)
The chefs created the final two dishes as a team:
Brie chesse cream with black truffle
Red fruits, beet infusion and pink pepper
Each chef served a selection of dishes in his own restaurant over the course of 2014, allowing their customers to discover the singularity of Dom Pérignon Vintage 2003 and the Rosé Paradox.
At the end of the 17th Century, Dom Pierre Pérignon stated his ambition to create ‘the best wine in the world’. On 29 September 1694, Dom Pierre Pérignon wrote that his mission was to create “the best wine in the world.” He dedicated himself to improving viticulture techniques, perfecting the art blending grapes from different crus, and introduced the gentle and fractional pressing to obtain white wine from black grapes.Ever since, the House of Dom Pérignon has perpetuated this visionary approach instilled by its founder, one that remains a hallmark of true luxury: the constant reinvention of the exceptional.
Under the creative leadership of cellar master Richard Geoffroy, Dom Pérignon is reinvented with every vintage. The miraculous concept of assemblage – the delicate balance between Pinot Noir and Chardonnay – and the commitment to Vintage are instrumental in the act of creation, revealing the wine's extra soul. Precise and tactile to the point of seamlessness, tense through rhythm and vibrancy, vigorous and fresh yet mature, intense and complex – such is the sensual style of Dom Pérignon: so inviting, yet so mysterious...
The core of the blend are the eight historical Grands Crus, Aÿ, Bouzy, Verzenay, Mailly, Chouilly, Cramant, Avize and Le Mesnil, plus the legendary Hautvillers Premier Cru. Dom Perignon also has the unique privilege of being able to select grapes from all 17 Grands Crus in Champagne. giving birth to Dom Perignon's highly intriguing contrast".
We will collectively remember 2003 as a year of all superlatives, a year of extremes. So much so that at the time of harvest, the conventional approach was of no help and the critical picking criteria had to be revisited. We decided to simply taste the berries on a daily basis to determine the optimum maturity. The Pinot Noir grapes (especially from the terroirs of Aÿ, Bouzy and Hautvillers) exhibited superb, ripe flavors of wild strawberries and white pepper. They can now be savored in Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 2003—having persisted through vinification and ten years of aging on the lees.
Pinot Noir is, by nature, so challenging, demanding and fickle: particularly sensitive to rot in the vineyards, and to oxydation during winemaking, this grape is extremely diffcult to master. Such is the price to pay for its intriguing beauty and complexity When tended with the extreme care it deserves and, with a bit of luck, blessed by the gentle generosity of Nature, Pinot Noir can reach unsurpassed heights and let the terroir shine through: witty, vibrant, singing and dancing. In solar vintages such as 2003 (or its illustrious predecessors 1947, 1959, or 1976), this creates voluptuous and hedonistic wines gifted with an almost theatrical depth. The richness of the tannins confers to Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 2003 a silky yet fleshy texture and an incredible density. Dom Pérignon Rosé invariably aspires to do justice to the best terroirs of Pinot Noir—perhaps never more so than in 2003.
Richard Geoffroy, Creator and Chef de Cave of Dom Pérignon since 1990