Looking forward to trying the latest release of Dom Perignon rosé, the 2002? Well, too late. It was released yesterday in the UK and the entire allocation is gone! That was fast but after being one of the lucky ones to be invited to the launch yesterday at Leighton House Museum, I can see why it flew off the shelves. When the cellar master himself, Richard Geoffroy, says that the 2002 rose is “one of the closest to the ideal” of what a rosé champagne should be, it’s not surprising that it’s been snapped up so quickly.
Yesterday was the launch of the 2002 rosé here in the UK at Leighton House Museum. It was rather fitting that the launch was in Leighton House as the musuem is treasure trove of priceless Islamic tiles that Lord Leighton collected in his lifetime. Very apropos considering the official world wide launch of the 2002 was in Istanbul last week.
We were seated around a square pond in the Arab Hall, which puts one very much in mind of the sitting room of a Turkish palace. And in the middle of the room, Chef de Cave, Richard Geoffroy walked us through our first tasting of the 2002 rosé. Richard believes that the 2002 is a statement about pinot noir, that it is about intensity and volume, a full bodied wine with room for creamy expansion. One thing that did surprise me about the rosé was the colour. I would expect a rosé that is over 10 years old to be showing it’s age but the 2002 was still looking very youthful. It was a bright strawberry hue and could easily have been mistaken for a much younger wine.
So what did I think of the rosé? It was an intense wine. I think I wrote on my FB wall something about it being the Christopher Walken of rosé champagne. And it is – smouldering & intense with deep fruit flavours and aromas – cherry, black cherry, smoke, iodine, these are a few of the things I jotted down. Richard aims for harmony and balance also in his champagnes and this is a harmonious rose, light but substantial at the same time. 2002 was a great vintage across the board and Richard said that challenge for him was to wait, that the risk for him is in the waiting.
After the tasting and chat, we moved to a light lunch of foods that Richard matched with the rosé because, what is rosé if not a foodie wine? We were served scallop ceviche, Iskenderun shrimp with chestnut crisps and nutmeg squash and clementine sorbet to finish. The rosé is a good companion to the seafood especially, counteracting the sweetness and density of the shellfish with it’s red fruit and iodine notes coming through on the palate. And very fine bubbles, this is a champagne with texture, a real pleasure to drink. I don’t want to get carried away by using words like ‘caressing’ and ‘sensual’ but you get the idea…
All too soon it was time to go but the 2002 is indeed a fabulous rosé and when the next allocation comes up, don’t hesitate to snap it up, this is a wine that is still young now and will only get better with time.