Champagne expert Michael Edwards reviews the newly released Dom Pérignon Rosé 2005 and looks back at the preceding three vintages.
Dom Pérignon is the daddy of all luxury cuvées, first made in 1921 and shipped to London in 1935.
It was an instant success, thanks to Moët’s timing, giving solace to wine lovers as war loomed. The inimitable DP style of floral scents and creamy middle palate was born; it is still a magnet today for its extraordinarily high and consistent quality, the more remarkable considering the substantial volume of production.
First produced in 1959, the DP Rosé is a smaller affair, drawn on a tighter repertoire of flavours involving a third step – the addition of aromatic Pinot Noir from the slopes of Hautvillers, Äy and Bouzy, where Moët have great vineyards.
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‘We don’t work to a fixed formula for either the blanc or the rosé,’ says oenologist Vincent Chaperon. ‘Yet what’s new is the beneficial effect climate change has had on our Pinot Noir. The fruit is riper, the tannins are gentler – very good news for the subtle development of pink Champagne.’
Since 2000, the DP team is making a bolder statement about Pinot Noir. ‘We are much less shy, pushing the envelope of the great red grape, exploring new frontiers and the complex character of ripe phenolics.’
A gastronomic opportunity? Despite the subtle differences, the pink is a blood brother of the white – tout en finesse.
Dom Pérignon Rosé Fact Box
Proportion of red wine: 27% (2005); 28% (2004); 20% (2003); 23% (2002)
Dosage: 5.5g/l (2005); 5.5g/l (2004); 6g/l (2003); 6g/l (2002)