Geoffroy: ‘04 was about not trying too hard’6th June, 2013 by Gabriel Stone
Dom Pérignon chef de cave Richard Geoffroy welcomed the “effortless” 2004 vintage at its official UK launch yesterday.
Describing the conditions that year as being “about as different as you can get” from the brand’s two preceding vintages, Geoffroy recalled: “It was so easy and seamless – not too hot as in ‘02 and ‘03, not too cool as in ‘08 – moderate, accommodating, an easy growing season and an easy ripening season.”
For all the ease of this 2004 growing season, Geoffroy stressed the particular importance in such a year of resisting the temptation to interfere. “04 was about not trying too hard, to leave the natural character of the vintage,” he remarked. “In those instances you have to step back.”
In response to the suggestion that ’04 represented a more “classic” vintage than the *house’s heat-influenced ’03, Geoffroy questioned the concept.
“Is there such a thing as a classical vintage?” he asked, remarking: “It is a fantasy of an idea in people’s mind about what Dom Pérignon could or should be.” Nevertheless, he added: “I don’t mind – it means there’s a strong connection with people to Dom Pérignon.”
Instead, Geoffroy pointed to the challenge of producing consistently high quality vintage expressions in the face of ever-changing weather conditions. “It’s definitely a case of reinvention,” he summed up. “I love sport – when you put your title back into contention then you’ve got to prove yourself all over again.”
Having been released to UK merchants on 23 May, Dom Pérignon 2004 has been well received, especially against the backdrop of a sluggish Bordeaux en primeur campaign, with *Bordeaux Index alone reporting sales worth over £1 million within three hours.
Following yesterday’s launch, this prestige cuvée from Moët & Chandon, which is produced from 17 grand cru sites across Champagne, is now available to the UK on- and off-trades with an RRP of £125.