Looking back at the 2015 harvest

Hautvillers vineyard, 2015

When the 2015 harvest started, I mentioned that the main challenge would be to deal with the heterogeneity of the maturities. Thankfully the rainfalls of late August were a real blessing, providing much needed relief to the vines. The other decisive factor was the care we put in picking each vineyard at the perfect date. Both combined allowed us to smooth out the perceived disparity between vineyards.

The beautiful weather at the beginning of the harvest lasted for over a week, before some more rainfalls. These were quickly forgotten given the drought that prevailed during the year. The maturation kept its momentum and followed its planned trajectory, while the sanitary conditions remained perfect. As a consequence the wines show remarkable balance and homogeneity, with all indicators well within reason. The Pinot Noirs are intense, rich and powerful, while the Chardonnays, perhaps more affected by the drought in June, had to be cautiously selected to preserve their complex nose and beautiful length.

All in all the climate of 2015 brought us back to other warm, dry years such as 1976, 1996 or 2003. However each vintage remains truly unique since both the heatwaves and the droughts varied in timing, length and intensity. We once again had to take unprecedented decisions and reinvent ourselves. Our first tastings looked very promising — however the full potential of 2015 will only be revealed as we prepare the final assemblage.

Richard Geoffroy, Dom Pérignon’s Chef de cave

Originally published at www.creatingdomperignon.com on January 8, 2016.