Looking back at the 2015 harvest / All in all the climate of 2015 brought us back to other warm, dry years such as 1976, 1996 or 2003.
When the 2015 harvest started, I mentioned that the main challenge would be to deal with the heterogeneity of the maturities. Thankfully the rainfalls of late August were a real blessing, providing much needed relief to the vines. The other decisive factor was the care we put in picking each vineyard at the perfect date. Both combined allowed us to smooth out the perceived disparity between vineyards.
The beautiful weather at the beginning of the harvest lasted for over a week, before some more rainfalls. These were quickly forgotten given the drought that prevailed during the year. The maturation kept its momentum and followed its planned trajectory, while the sanitary conditions remained perfect. As a consequence the wines show remarkable balance and homogeneity, with all indicators well within reason. The Pinot Noirs are intense, rich and powerful, while the Chardonnays, perhaps more affected by the drought in June, had to be cautiously selected to preserve their complex nose and beautiful length.
All in all the climate of 2015 brought us back to other warm, dry years such as 1976, 1996 or 2003. However each vintage remains truly unique since both the heatwaves and the droughts varied in timing, length and intensity. We once again had to take unprecedented decisions and reinvent ourselves. Our first tastings looked very promising—however the full potential of 2015 will only be revealed as we prepare the final assemblage.
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".
The 2004 growing season is best typified by its generosity: the vegetative development was smooth, each step following the previous with ease. I might go as far as to say that the true risk-taking of the 2004 vintage was to refrain from intervening, to have the patience to observe the events as they unfolded steadily. This serenity in the vineyard was passed, pristine, into the wine.
Dom Pérignon Rosé is not pink: is Dom Pérignon red? Our commitment to Dom Pérignon Rosé is to enable the red in Pinot Noir to vibrate. For this to happen we have to push the envelope and reach the frontier of Dom Pérignon’s territory. Only the assemblage allows us to go that far, creating tension between the red of Pinot Noir and the singularity of Dom Pérignon. Such is the paradox of Dom Pérignon to the point of contradiction. The red of Pinot Noir possesses limitless nuances. Its colour, depth, perfume and structure all reflect what it has gone through during a whole season, in a specific terroir. The winemaking has to be free of artifice. The assemblage and the slow maturation reveal the red in Pinot Noir: enthusiastic, joyful, spiritual, unpredictable, mysterious…
Nature was bountiful with us in 2004, and so is Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 2004, binding the 2004 vintage with Dom Pérignon’s singularity in a symbiotic manner. On the nose, Pinot Noir sings out loud, with clear, vibrant and fragile notes of fresh and intense red fruit. On the palate, the wine glides, embracing, tempered by a chiseled and penetrating integrity. In the end an impression of utmost precision dominates. The vintage is marked by an unexpected hint of green citrus on the finish which catches us off-guard and reminds us that a great experience always comes with a touch of unpredictability.