2012 was definitely full of surprises, from a challenging growing season to a quasi-perfect harvest. Such a chaotic vintage calls upon our flexibility and humility: to react to unprecedented conditions, to escape conformism, to take risks and to hold back or push forward as required. Although these are the fundamental values of Dom Pérignon, 2012 pushed them to their limits. I felt such an elusive yet assertive vintage reinforces the mysterious aura of Dom Pérignon. New situations invite creative solutions and force clear decisions: the wine is but the sum of these events.
The growing season itself was challenging to say the least. Fortunately the harvest period was more positive (and in a way more straightforward) with nice weather, slow and steady maturation, and perfect sanitary conditions. Acknowledging this, our approach was to aim for maximum maturity while retaining as much freshness as possible. The balance between richness, intensity and acidity is close to some of the greatest vintages ever, such as 1952.
However the truth always lies in the glass; tasting the wines is the real test. The first impression mirrors the character of the vintage: assertive and free-spirited, built on a complex, sinuous history. The fruit and the intensity both point to a no-holds-barred vintage, while the sharp acidity already balances out the expressive maturity. The wines still feel raw at this stage, of course. Only time can smooth them out, refine their qualities, and allow us to assess how they might stand the test of decades.