Refined, with a sweet, smoky undercurrent to the flavors of glazed pear, candied lemon zest and golden raisin, with a hint of marzipan. Racy acidity frames?but doesn't dominate'the wine, with a spicy note lingering on the finish.
The NV Brut Premier is a gorgeous wine that stands head and shoulders above the vast majority of wines in its price range. Apparently, it is quite possible to make great Champagne that doesn't cost a small fortune. Ripe pears, smoke, spices, dried flowers and herbs are some of the many nuances that emerge from the glass. The Brut Premier shows lovely mid-palate depth and fabulous overall balance. Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon has done it again. This is a fabulous Brut Premier. The Brut Premier is based on the 2007 vintage, with approximately 20% 2006 wines and 10% older reserves going back to 1996. The blend is approximately 40% Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Meunier and 20% Chardonnay. About 50% of the base wines underwent malolactic fermentation. Dosage is 9-10 grams per liter. This is Lot # L034638B102206. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2015.
This brisk, 100% Pinot Noir sparkler is one of the best values in sparkling wine on the market. It’s meticulously made by Lucien Albrecht, one of Alsace's most respected producers, according to the traditional "champagne method." The wonderful varietal flavors of the Pinot Noir call the tune here, providing an unbeatable combination of vivacious strawberry/cranberry fruit, and creamy, easygoing charm. A perfect pairing for Thanksgiving roast turkey, glazed ham and creamy side dishes, this rosé’s exuberance also makes it a terrific sparkler to have on hand for all of your holiday entertaining.
Unfortunately there is only one new release from Dom Perignon this year. The 2003 is one of the most unusual Dom Perignons I have ever tasted, going back to 1952. Readers will remember that 2003 was a torrid vintage across northern Europe, especially during the critical month of August, when temperatures remained very hot for well over a month. The harvest was the earliest on record, until 2011, that is. I suppose its not that surprising Chef de Caves Richard Geoffroy chose to make a 2003 Dom Perignon, given his penchant for risk-taking, an approach that has yielded so many memorable wines that stretch the perception of what big brand Champagne is and can be. The 2003 Dom Perignon is a big, broad shouldered wine. It does not have the seductiveness of the 2000, nor the power of the 2002. It is instead very much its own wine. In 2003 Geoffroy elected to use more Pinot Noir than is typically the case, and that comes through in the wine’s breath and volume. The 2003 is a big, powerful Champagne that will require quite a bit of time to shed some of its baby fat. The trademark textural finesse is there, though. I expect the 2003 to be a highly divisive Champagne because of its extreme personality, but then again, many of the world’s legendary wines were made from vintages considered freakish at the time. The 2003 is an atypically, rich, powerful, vinous Dom Perignon loaded with fruit, structure and personality. It is not for the timid, but rather it is a wine for those who can be patient. No one has a crystal ball, but personally I will not be surprised if in 20 years’ time the 2003 is considered an iconic Champagne. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2038.
Score: 94+. —Antonio Galloni, November 2011.
A smoky, fresh rosé, lightly chalky in texture, showing delicate flavors of crème de cassis, gumdrop, grilled plum and ground spice. Minerally finish. Drink now through 2018.