Among all the Champagne producers, Dom Perignon is one of the two that I always want to try at least a bottle for each new vintage release.  The other one, not unexpected, is Krug.  When I know Dom will release its 2003, I was so surprised as 2003 is quite not a poor vintage.  To me, this is especially true to the Champagne region since the hot summer would lead to grapes lacking acidity.  To me, abundant ccidity is what every good Champagne wine should have.  Furthermore, I’m quite disappointed with both Bollinger 2003 and Moet 2003.  For these reasons, even though 2003 Dom has received quite good comment from various wine critics, I’m not expecting it would be good.  Even the booklet included in the wine said that 2003 is a really challenging vintage.

Interpreting the singularity of Vintage 2003 is a true challenge to the creation of Dom Perignon, the opportunity to push boundaries and to reinvent ourselves.  Therein resides Dom Perignon’s rarity.

The wine’s expression is paradoxically less solar and extraverted than the character of the seasons would lead us to believe.  More than strength or richness, there is an intensity, a sensation replete with freshness and firmness, which is remarkable.  This deep and confident presence that persists over time, becomes the memory of the wine, possibly for always.

But this 2003 Dom is really much better than I expected.  It has explosive aromas.  While quite bold, it is still quite elegant in line with the style of Dom Perignon.  Still, it is much more direct and intense than most other Dom that I have tried before.  Yeast, lime, licorice, mineral and strong aromas and flavours of lemon peel.  Complex and smooth in palate.  Acidity, as expected, is not high by Champagne’s standard but luckily it is not fat or dull.

Comparing to 2002 Dom, I think 2002 Dom is more refreshing and elegant and has higher level of complexity and acidity.  2003 is not of the quality of 2002 but given that 2003 is a real challenging vintage, I’m truly amazed by the craftsmanship of Dom Perignon winemaker.

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