Booze | October 1, 2020 11:33 am

How Dom Perignon Salvaged a Terrible Harvest

While 2010 wasn't a great year for grapes, the Champagne house makes the just-released vintage shine

Dom Perignon 2010 vintage Champagne
A 2010 vintage Dom Perignon release is earning raves.
Dom Perignon

We’re not having a good year. But for Champagne, 2010 was truly a terrible time. Nonetheless, Dom Perignon just released a vintage from the unspeakable year that’s, surprisingly, a winner.

As Kristen Shirley at Bloomberg notes:

In the best years, vintners will sometimes release a wine using only grapes from a singular, superior harvest; 2010 wasn’t one of those years. Much of the crop was lost after two months’ worth of rain fell over two days in mid-August. That led to an invasion of botrytis—or gray mold—and rot.

With the grapes not fully mature, the brand had to trace a map “delimiting the maturity and health of each parcel” in its vineyards to hopefully save a few plots of pinot noir grapes.

On the nose, the newly released vintage reportedly evokes green mango, melon, pineapple and orange zest. The palate has an “ample presence” with both sappy and aromatic sensations. By the end, it “vibrates” with spices and pepper before a saline finish.

This is the first major Champagne house to release a 2010 vintage; as Shirley suggests in a review, their hard work paid off: “Notes of tropical fruits and crisp citrus combine for a long, lively finish. It’s powerful—but the concentrated flavors and balance are undeniably Dom.”