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This cuvee la Vigne d'Or (The Golden Vine) comes from vines growing for more than 50 years on a chalky-clay subsoil - the Sparnacian. This exceptional terroir, only to be found in the Marne valley, allows the Pinot Meunier grape to express itself with rare beauty. You will never forget tasting this astonishing and intense Champagne.
Harvest: August 30, 2003
Grapes: 100% Pinot Meunier
Terroir: Vineyard "Pierre de Bellevue" in Oeuilly (Marne valley), Sparnacien soils (chalk mixed with clay).
Average age of vines: 50+ years
Vinification: Vinification in 4-wine oak barrels. Barrel fermentation with the lees regularly stirred back into the wine. Remains in barrels until May.
Bottling: 5th May 2004
Disgorging: 2014 - Manual (see back label for exact date)
Dosage: 0 g/L - Brut Nature
To the eye, warm gold, lively mousse.
Nose: Powerful and aristocratic, it develops attractive dense exotic fruits, with hints of almond.
Mouth perfumed and tasty, full and surprising, with lychee, passionfruit, mango and pineapple. Marrying hazelnut and praline, the ensemble is crowned with spice on the palate.
Food & wine: This is a wine to taste amongst connoisseurs, melding length and complexity. It would go fabulously well with dolphin fish (mahi mahi) grilled on the Hibachi, served on a bed of grilled pineapple with papaya salsa
A challenging vintage for Champagne in the face of an unprecedented heatwave during the summer months. The wines are characterised by the year's unusual circumstances. Large-scale frosts destroyed most of the projected yield and they were followed by hail and an extremely hot summer. Harvest was kick-started early on August 21st and yields remained minuscule at 8,100 kg/ha. Atypically round, ripe, sun-kissed wines that miss freshness and backbone. The total acidity level was notably low, at 5.8 g/l. Only the very best performers were able to avoid heaviness and overripe aromatics. This vintage was not largely declared but some famous names, Krug and Dom Pérignon at the fore, chose to experiment with it. Both produced excellent 2003s and Dom Pérignon's chef de cave at the time named the vintage as one of the creations he is most proud of. Some special cuvées surfaced, such as 2003 by Bollinger, as the house found the year did not stylistically fit into the La Grande Année range. Palmer & Co also took a curious route and made its 2003 only in magnum, releasing it much later than usual as cuvée Grands Terroirs. The ageing capacity of 2003 is much debated. Dom Pérignon's Richard Geoffroy had great confidence in his 2003 and he actually regretted releasing it too early. The jury is still out, but personally I am inclined to drink mine sooner rather than later, as the advancement post-disgorgement has in most cases been rather rapid and the wines miss the acidic backbone necessary for retaining freshness.