Earlier this week I attended an exclusive fine wine merchant breakfast, held by Dom Perignon to release the new vintage, 2005. It was the very first trade tasting in the UK and we were led by the man himself, Richard Geoffroy.Held in the luxury of Dom Perignon’s new town house, called “Les 3 Etages” in Lincolns Inn Fields. The new UK home for Dom Perignon which oozes designer luxury, a fitting setting in which to taste and welcome this newcomer to the UK stage.
The 2005 vintage was small in quantity, around 50% lower than normal, but with “exceptional quality”and “a never-before-seen aromatic maturity”according to Richard Geoffroy. The 2005 also has the highest ever percentage of Chardonnay in a Dom Perignon release, with the exception of 1970. 63% Chardonnay 37% Pinot Noir.
After a warm year the harvest was almost ruined by a cool and wet start to September although the onset of botrytis, especially on the Pinot Noir was reversed by a return to good weather near the start of the harvest which was 14 September for the Chardonnay and 17 September for the Pinot Noir. But ever true of Dom Perignon, the team have captured the best of what the vintage has to offer.
The nose is dark, rich and opulent. You immediately get hit with intense notes of smoke, toast and honeyed fruits. It has powerful masculine aromatics, which are open knit and extremely engaging now.
The palate is just as opulent; the dark fruits showing through, even though this has a higher percentage of chardonnay, it is the black fruits which show their intensity and flavour. These fruit flavours are layered with fresh butterscotch and praline, giving a beautiful fresh lift and a glimpse of what the Chardonnay has to offer. It has perfect balance and is a Dom Perignon that is ready to drink now. The 2005 did seem to currently lack that big zip of acidity and tension of other vintages I have tasted. However having experience of the genius that is Richard Geoffroy, and watching the 2003 and 2004 grow into very different champagnes than they released as, this maybe another “slow developer”. I look forward to following the 2005’s journey, but in the mean-time it is a beautiful Champagne to enjoy now.
I think Antonio Galloni really echoes our thoughts with his review.
The 2005 Dom Pérignon opens with the classic Dom Pérignon bouquet. Warm toasty notes meld into expressive fruit in a supple, silky Champagne endowed with stunning depth, nuance and complexity. Sweet floral notes add lift as the wine opens up in the glass. Overall, the 2005 is a relatively delicate, gracious DP, but what it lacks in depth it more than makes up with persistence and its open, totally inviting personality. Today it’s hard to see the 2005 making old bones, but it is a gorgeous wine to drink while the 2004 ages. In 2005, the release is scheduled to last about six months, which means production is down around 50% over normal levels. All I can say is the 2005 is fabulous, especially in a vintage that required considerable sorting to eliminate rampant rot in the Pinots. 95 Points, Antonio Galloni
Georgina Crawley – Associate Director, Business Development.