Looking back at 2016

Wine Pulse

My last entry about 2016 ended with several question marks, especially about the general potential of the grapes. Indeed we observed that both the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay were lagging behind in terms of ripening. Chardonnay tends to start maturing later than Pinot Noir, but typically manages to catch up towards the end of the season and is even usually harvested first! However in 2016 while the Pinot Noir grapes finally reached adequate maturity, in the case of Chardonnay this issue was compounded by the fact that it never managed to make up for lost time. During this uncommon year, we adapted to every new challenge that arose—still, we were constantly entering new territory. This is why we were all so eager to taste the first 2016 wines.


The Pinot Noir wines showed the level of ripeness we expected, exhibting aromas of ripe peach. Licorice as well as some smoky notes surprised us as they are more typically found in rosé wines. On the palate the structure stood out: the wines felt angular and racy.


The Chardonnay wines lacked a bit in character. However they provided the appropriate freshness to complement the Pinot Noir, with citrusy notes on the nose as well as fresh apricot and pomelos. On the palate a nice contrast appeared between tension and a rounder feeling. Technically these wines are all we could wish for—but will it be enough? Time will tell…

Richard Geoffroy

Richard Geoffroy, Creator and Chef de Cave of Dom Pérignon since 1990.