Scion of a long line of Côte des Blanc winegrowers, Geoffroy was born in the heart of Champagne country in 1954, in the town of Vertus, set amid the Chardonnay vineyards. Going against what might have seemed to be a predestined career in the world of wine, he took up medicine and received his doctorate in 1982.
He then went back to his roots and enrolled in the École Nationale d’OEnologie in Reims. He began his second career in wine in the Napa Valley and became the technical adviser for Domaines Chandon, acting as a link between Champagne and the New World vineyards. He learned his trade on foreign soil before fully exercising it in Champagne.
In 1990, Richard Geoffroy became Dom Pérignon’s Chef de Cave, he has been watching over the destiny of this legendary wine ever since.
As the custodian of Dom Pérignon’s history and style, Richard Geoffroy is a vintage creator. All Dom Pérignon are vintage and each vintage is a reinvention, a metamorphosis, involving elements of risk.
In 2009, he released his Manifesto.
In 2000 Richard Geoffroy decided to give the Dom Pérignon’s lovers an access to a few rare vintages from the concept of Plénitudes. He carefully chose the wines regarding the stage of maturation, since in the Plénitudes, the wine continues to mature for years and even decades, and is reborn several times, it’s the Dom Pérignon Plénitudes project, the ultimate expression of a wine whose style defies time.
Richard shapes a unique world to Dom Pérignon and reveals each vintage originality. Beyond finding the right words.
Geoffroy offers unique ways to experience the wine based on new gustatory cultural and sensorial correspondences. From his travels, he captures and filters a myriad of impressions, which he reinterprets in the making of Dom Pérignon. Dom Pérignon’s dazzling original vision must stand up to the merciless test of time, for the challenge of making Dom Pérignon lies in mastering time to create this opus, then leaving it up to time to reveal it.
The 2005 growing season, warm and dry, showed a lot of potential for the maturation of grapes—so much so that even the heavy rains at the start of September and the threat of botrytis couldn’t temper our enthusiasm. We were convinced that daring to wait for the perfect maturity would bring its own reward. We managed, through drastic selection, to harvest grapes of exceptional quality at the price of a very low yield.
I have recently conducted several tastings showing the contrast between Dom Pérignon Rosé 2003 and 2004. Our guests invariably notice the bold character of the 2003, and assume it must have a higher Pinot Noir proportion. They are as invariably surprised to learn it is the opposite! Regardless of the vintage or the share of red wine, our only commitment is to bring the red of Pinot Noir to life, naturally leading to the question: is Dom Pérignon Rosé actually red?
I have mentioned years of extremes in the past: 2016 might be a year of extremes to the point of excess, with such a stark contrast between the seasons. The spring, during which we had to deal with hail and frost as well as the most precipitations and the least sunshine in the last 20 years, was very taxing. To the contrary, the month of August was drier and became warmer at the end, to the point of sunburn for some grapes.
When I met Alexandre Schmitt, we first tasted the five consecutive vintages between 2002 and 2006. We then moved on to the exploration of Dom Pérignon’s second plénitude with Dom Pérignon P2 1996 and Dom Pérignon P2 1998.
2002. 2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. I have already mentioned the special significance—for me—of declaring five vintages of Dom Pérignon in a row. Evidently nature was bountiful during that first decade of the millenium.
I have already introduced Alexandre Schmitt in a previous entry. During his visit to Hautvillers, we did not only talk—we also tasted. Declaring five vintages in a row, from 2002 to 2006, has been a unique occurrence in the history of Dom Pérignon...
The story of Dom Pérignon Vintage 2006 is a story of patience and confidence, with parallel trajectories in the vineyard and in the cellar. Taking our time was the great challenge of 2006, to give ourselves the freedom ...