Dom Perignon launches the Dom Perignon Rose Vintage 2003
September 24, 2014: After eight years on the lees in cellars, Dom Pérignon has launched the Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 2003, which is voluptuous with a velvety texture. It finds its final tone in a hint of licorice: an unexpected interpretation of Dom Pérignon’s signature minerality, found in every vintage.
The richness of tannins in the Pinot Noir grapes, ripened during a highly unusual month of August, gave the wine its enigmatic, almost theatrical depth. The extreme, contrasting weather of 2003 gave an unexpected shape to this vintage. Following a tough cold, dry winter, spring was a shock with freezing temperatures and hail instead of the anticipated mild weather. The dramatic cold spell that hit the Chardonnay grands crus in the Côte des Blancs between April 7 and April 17 will not soon be forgotten in Champagne, since up to three-quarters of the potential harvest was destroyed.
The hottest summer in 53 years proved to be as extreme as the spring was devastating. After the ravages caused by the frost, the vineyards had to endure a heat wave. The few grapes that were left matured at such a pace that Dom Pérignon’s Chef de Cave, Richard Geoffroy, took the decision to start the harvest as early as August 25. Photosynthesis (accumulation of sugars in the fruit) had been blocked for almost a week, an occurrence that made the decision even more difficult. Not since 1822 had the harvest in Champagne taken place at such an early date.
The vintage of a perfectly ripe and healthy small harvest, is thus the most precocious since 1822. The colour is deep, with light amber and copper tints. The nose incites a burst of richness and complexity. Ripe fruit at first, then fig and strawberry as the wine breathes and grows, revealing guava, violet and vanilla. The palate is concentrated and remarkably well-defined. The fullness is structured, rich. The silky, spicy material very gradually disappears into a mineral, iodine, salty finish.