Richard Geoffroy, chef de cave of Dom Pérignon, was in London yesterday for the launch of the maison’s 2009 vintage. This is the first release since the 2006 in 2015. A blend of roughly equal parts Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, it spent a minimum of seven years ageing on the lees.
‘Fruit, glorious fruit!’ is the defining character of the 2009 according to Geoffroy. ‘The dosage is 4g which tells you so much about the ripeness of the fruit,’ he added. It wasn’t a straightforward vintage however.
‘We needed to learn from all the past vintages to dare to produce 2009,’ said Geoffroy. ‘Dom Pérignon 2009 would certainly not be what it is without the experience gained while producing Dom Pérignon 2003. It is one of the seminal vintages that encourages winemakers to go beyond what they already know: to take risks and keep on growing.’
The year began with unfavourable conditions. ‘A harsh winter was followed by a mild and rainy spring. Flowering turned out to be difficult and the threat of mildew was high. Storms in July raised fears for the grapes’ health,’ explained Geoffroy.
‘August however was perfect,’ he continued. ‘Hot and dry weather was uninterrupted right up to the harvest, with the unfortunate exception of a hailstorm on 4 September in Hautvillers, Verzenay and Chouilly. The harvest began on 12 September in idyllic conditions. The fruit was magnificently mature and flawlessly healthy.’
The 2009 is the latest launch after a consecutive string of vintage releases: 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. ‘Now we have a break,’ said Geoffroy. ‘I’m not declaring 2007 – it was too slight – and 2008 is not ready yet, whereas 2009 is approachable.’
He described the 2009 as having ‘restrained power and incredible persistence’, adding, ‘The texture is not creamy, it’s silky.’ Dom Pérignon 2009 will be available to the on-trade from September.
RRP £130, Moët Hennessy UK, 020 7808 4400