dom perignon, luminous 2010
The 2010 Dom Pérignon is hard to get a read on today. I have tasted it four times over the last few months, and my feeling is that it is still not totally put together. Apricot, pastry, chamomile, mint and light tropical notes are all signatures of a hot vintage with a very fast final phase of ripening that trails only 2002 and 2003 in terms of sugars. Of course, the year had plenty of challenges. The first part of the year was marked by cold and very dry weather during the winter and spring. June saw heat and some stress in the vines. July and August were quite warm, with heavy rains on August 15 and 16 that caused a widespread outbreak of botrytis that accelerated rapidly in the days leading up to harvest. Chef de Caves Vincent Chaperon explained that Chardonnay was favored over Pinot because better aeration within the clusters helped fend off rot, while parcels that had been less stressed by the June heat also suffered less from the effects of botrytis. Drinking window: 2012 - 2035
A graceful Champagne, featuring fragrant notes of toasted brioche and grilled nut that are more subtle on the palate, transitioning to a rich underpinning layered with a pure chime of tangerine and accents of candied ginger, toasted saffron and lime blossom. This bundles a lot of concentrated flavor into a lithe frame. The fine mousse caresses the palate through to the lasting finish. Drink now through 2035.
Soft gold, with a gentle green luminescence and a paler rim. A fine bead and immediately reassuring nose…. classic DP this, citric fruit, slate, sourdough, soft spice and the softly whispered intimations of tropical decadence. Pedigree writ large. The palate continues the theme, albeit with great subtlety. Vincent describes sapidity, itself buttressing the fruit which now recalls nectarines and pineapple, maybe a hint of crystallised grapefruit. The finish unfurls neatly, a gentle phenolic kick of salinity underwriting structure and potential alike.