A bottle of Dom Pérignon Vintage 2004 sleeps, calmly and safely, in the depths of our cellars in Hautvillers. Nurtured in the perfect conditions of temperature, humidity and obscurity that any wine collector’s cellar aims for, it is about to undertake a journey from darkness to light, revealed to the world at last. However, one last critical step remains before it is ready to take its leave.
Today I met the two chefs with whom I collaborate at Dom Pérignon. Pascal Tingaud and Bernard Dance have been assisting me for many years: we keep discovering new cultures and cuisines when traveling together, bringing back ideas from all over the world to Epernay. The three of us have been working for several months on food and wine pairings, creating a new Dark Revelation experience to fit Dom Pérignon Vintage 2004. Ideas have been voiced, outlines sketched, concepts elaborated upon… leading to such delicacies as “Grilled Crab and Licorice” or “Candied Lemon and Balsamic Jelly”. We are now focusing on the details, on the quality of the products and the perfection of the execution.
Even more than a marvelous complement to Dom Pérignon, exquisite food is the perfect medium to reveal all the nuances of Dom Pérignon’s character. Our commitment is to go beyond the standard pairings based on aromas to explore other aspects, such as confronting textures, matching intensity wth intensity or generating tension. An open mind is required to let our creativity and imagination express themselves. My advice to you in this regard is thus: dare to take risks; embrace the challenge; accept to be rewarded. A true, eye-opening food pairing with Dom Pérignon comes at this price.
I was glad to meet Serena Sutcliffe at the occasion of a special Dom Pérignon auction organised by Sotheby’s in New York on February 23 2013. This event was reminiscent of a similar auction held in Hong Kong a few years ago. Rare lots of Dom Pérignon Œnothèque and Dom Pérignon Rosé in magnums were featured, with vintages ranging from 1966 to 1990. A dinner was held at Eleven Madison Square with a special menu created by Chef Daniel Humm to explore the side by side tasting of Dom Pérignon and Dom Pérignon Rosé in the same vintages.
The world of Dom Pérignon Œnothèque has recently been expanded to Dom Pérignon Rosé, with the first release of Dom Pérignon Rosé Œnothèque 1990 a few years ago, since then joined by vintages 1992 and 1993. Older vintages, though, are available exclusively via exceptional and infrequent auctions. Sourced directly from our wine library, late disgorged, these limited releases offer the wine collector the assurance of perfect provenance. The experience is literally unique, as the active maturation of the wines on their lees can only take place in our own cellars, under our devoted care.
The focal point of the auction was once again the Dom Pérignon Rosé Œnothèque 1966. The nose, incredibly complex; the body, supremely elegant; the precision and clarity uniting to create an unsurpassed agile character. During the dinner I smiled as I noticed our guests enraptured by the seductive personality of the wine and its unexpected balance between maturity and freshness.
Declaring a new vintage carries its own paradox: the wine is suddenly revealed to the public after years of patience and care dedicated to its creation. The transition from the quietude and darkness of our cellars to the excitement and brightness of the reception is a defining moment. Hidden from sight since its inception, the Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 2002 took center stage at the declaration party held in Istanbul, Turkey on 23 January 2013.
As my loyal readers will surely remember, this is not the first time the worlds of Asia and Dom Pérignon Rosé intersect. The choice of the Sublime Porte, itself a city rich in paradoxes, came naturally as it represents the perfect connection from Europe to Asia: as Istanbul is straddling two continents, so is Dom Pérignon Rosé, with its roots in the heart of Champagne and its aromas reminiscent of the Orient.
I imagined a progression of happenings for our guests throughout the day: a discovery of the wine itself, first alone then under my guidance; a visit to the Spice Market, to explore and feel the similarities; and a seminar held by Thierry Wasser, the nose of Guerlain. His first sip of Dom Pérignon Rosé 2002 reminded him of one of his creations (Rose nacrée du désert), whose components each evoke a different facet of the wine: Lumière d’Or (solar opulence), Clair Obscur (minerality, freshness and lightness) and Rose Orientale (power and sensual glow). The active participation of the attendees was required for this playful event, as their mission was to recreate the fragrance by combining these three elements.
The day reached its climax, combining all these experiences, during the declaration party held at Esma Sultan, a palace built in 1875 and named after the daughter of the 32nd Sultan of Ottoman.
Whirling dervishes danced while the Paradox menu concocted by Jean-François Piège was served. Dom Pérignon met gastronomy, East met West, tradition met modernity as Dom Pérignon Vintage Rosé 2002 was being celebrated. One out of a thousand and one nights to remember…
I wish you and your loved ones a happy new year and all the best for 2013! What better way to do this than to announce the launch of the Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 2002?
Following the strong success of the Dom Pérignon Vintage 2002, the expectations were very high for the Rosé. My feeling is that they were met; my ambition is that they were surpassed; my wish is that you will concur. The story of 2002 is written into the wine: the spring was warm and dry leading to almost perfect flowering; the summer saw long sunny stretches interspersed with overcast and rainy spells, with one final sunny interlude before the harvest. It would be hard to think of a more favourable growing season.
This is reflected in the wine as Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 2002 lives up to its promise of accomplished harmony, offering a pure expression of the spirit of Dom Pérignon. This new vintage of Dom Pérignon Rosé will be declared in Istanbul, Turkey on January 23, 2013. I will narrate the tale of this highly awaited night in a future entry.