I was going to call this A Taste of Dom Pérignon Rosé 2006 and Moët Grand Vintage Collection 2002 but, reader, I drank them, not by myself and not all at once, but these were not samples I tasted and then passed on to neighbours/friends/family. You wouldn't have done either. They were sent for Moët Hennessy's inspired 'Hidden Gems' Zoom tasting of five Champagnes: Veuve Clicquot Grande Dame 2008, Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs 2007, Krug Rosé 24ème édition and the two above. They were chosen by Ethan Boroian, Moët Hennessy Champagne Ambassador, to show rare, gastronomic Champagnes – all of them still young. Each participant had been sent two, picked at random, and the tasting and discussion was led by Boroian. (For interest, this is a review of Dom Ruinart 2007 that I wrote for The World of Fine Wine last year.)
Moët Grand Vintage Collection 2002
The Grand Vintage Collection is a very limited series of later releases of exceptional vintages. As Boroian said, 2002 really is a great vintage, not one that was overhyped, as some people now say of 1996 and 2008. The GVC 2002 was disgorged between February and May 2017 (it's done by hand, a few hundred bottles in a day, every so often, hence the time taken); so, 15 years on lees. The original release was disgorged in 2009. The other vital stats are: 51% Chardonnay, 26% Pinot Noir, 23% Pinot Meunier; 5.5g/l dosage.
Deeply toasty and nutty on the nose, but vibrant and fresh, with crystallised citrus (lemon and orange), perfumed Mirabelle and quince. Full-bodied, rich and complex in the mouth, with toast, delicate honey, the sweet intensity of crystallised-citrus, a hint of cappuccino and an almost unctuous texture but underpinned by bright, anchoring acidity. Long, rich, complex, beautiful.
Interestingly, this was a slightly more evolved bottle – a deeper yellow-gold, a little more toasted and nutty – than a bottle I tasted (but didn't drink – it was 10am on a Monday morning) with chef de cave Benoît Gouez in March. For what it's worth, I scored it 95/96. My main focus on that occasion and the reason I was interviewing Gouez, was Moët's rarest Champagne, of which there has only been one cuvée so far, MCIII 001.14. I can't say any more about it here because my review is in the next issue (number 68) of The World of Fine Wine, published later this month.
Dom Pérignon Rosé 2006
Vital stats: 56% Pinot Noir, 44% Chardonnay; 20% red wine component (mainly Ay, Bouzy and Verzenay); 6g/l dosage. The red wine was made by Vincent Chaperon who was new to Dom Pérignon then but is now chef de cave (succeeding Richard Geoffroy in January 2019). It took 11 years to elaborate and 2006 is the fifth in an unprecedented run of five consecutive vintages of DP rosé.
Copper-tinged salmon colour. A powerful nose; nutty and creamy with a burst of sweet red berries (strawberry and raspberry), apricot and bitter dark chocolate. Full, weighty, dry and creamy in the mouth, with nut-sweet toastiness, crème patissière, a hint of bitter herb and briny, saline power. Forceful, structured and very long, and remains fresh to the end. Drunk over three days, its fizz remained and yet it became increasingly like a fine, young red Burgundy.
Photograph by Joanna Simon