Dom Pérignon Tasting Event Features Rare Pinks
Originally published in the Wall Street Journal.
What do the world’s top collectors of Dom Pérignon rosé like to drink? Everything from 1962 to 2004.
Nine rosé Champagne aficionados sat down for an intimate, one-of-a-kind pairing dinner on Thursday night with Dom Pérignon Chef de Cave Richard Geoffroy.
Guests at the East Village event included New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, real-estate executive Michael Fascitelli and wine-store owner Robert Schagrin.
Dubbed a “retrospective” by Dom Pérignon executives, the dinner featured nearly every commercially available rosé the storied house has produced, from 1962 to the newest vintage, 2004—with the exception of 1964 and 1975.
Given the scarcity of some of the liquids, such a dinner can’t occur again, executives said. The 1962 vintage poured at the event was the last bottle in the Dom Pérignon library.
Rosé Champagne inspires a particular type of fandom, because it is a rare breed. As vintages age, flavors move from bright berry and citrus accents to ripened fruit and complex sherry notes.
“When I taste the ’86, it feels like it has wings,” said Mr. Anthony, a Dom Pérignon collector. “When you get down to the ’80s, you can taste all the flavors that’s in those barrels.”
Dom Pérignon rosé is only blended when there is a perfect growing season for both the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. Given the variations, Dom Pérignon may release an average of three to five vintages in one decade.
Mr. Geoffroy said the yeast in the Champagne, which makes the liquid sparkling, is the reason wines are protected from oxidizing. “The yeast maturation has a way of preserving that gem—the magical, essential Pinot Noir character,” he said. “We’re looking for that superlative essential Pinot.”
The seven-course dinner featured dishes showcasing a global range of spices, from a Thai bouillon to an elegant mole verde to a duck entree, redolent of cumin and coriander, based on a 17th-century French recipe.
The dinner was held at 421 E. Sixth St. and the space decorated for the occasion by rock star Lenny Kravitz’s Kravitz Design, which brought in sculptures, dramatic lighting and sleek furniture.