A decade in Champagne

2003

Famous across Europe for its heat, even in northerly Champagne temperatures proved too much for the majority.

“We never considered releasing the 2003 as a vintage,” says James Simpson MW of Pol Roger. “There was simply not enough acidity for it to be a great Pol vintage for the medium, let alone long, term.”

That said, some houses did rise to the challenge, with Bollinger one of the first to put its head above the parapet. “It was subject to quite a bit of internal debate,” admits Hawes. “We wanted to show what Bollinger was capable of doing.” Henriot and Moët & Chandon both joined the charge before Dom Pérignon too revealed its hand.

Cellar master Richard Geoffroy remarked: “For too many Champenois this one character alone, low acidity, was enough to write off the vintage,” as he predicted a long lifespan for his own 2003.

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