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The release of Dom Pérignon Rosé 2002 and BI’s Top 5 Rosé Champagnes
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By Giles Cooper, Head of Marketing and Pr, Bordeaux Index (BI)

There are occasions when only the classics will do. When going off-piste isn’t required, isn’t smart and often isn’t welcome. Valentine’s Day is just one of these occasions when it pays to keep it simple and focus on easy, uncomplicated luxury, especially when it comes to finding a great bottle to toast the day with. Nothing says Valentine’s like Champagne, except maybe for Rosé Champagne. Buy carefully and it’s the ultimate ‘all things to all people’ wine; the rom-com you can both enjoy, the outfit that’s both comfortable AND sexy…

So how to choose the right bottle? Well, you can’t just pop into your local supermarket and buy the Valentine’s promotion pink cava. You need to consider whether you are planning to accompany food, drink as an aperitif, or simply bathe in the stuff (not recommended!); also, you need to consider the style your loved one likes best – elegant and minerally or rich and luxurious? The good news is that Rosé Champagne covers all bases and when chosen with care is both a delightful gift and a deeply satisfying wine to drink.

DOM PÉRIGNON ROSÉ 2002

Arguably, the ultimate expression of Champagne – and the ultimate treat – is Dom Pérignon. There’s something about Dom Pérignon that just screams luxury. No, hang on, that’s too vocal – it’s more of an insistent whisper. This is a brand that boasts the pinnacle of craft. Richard Geoffroy, Chef de Caves and ‘Creator of Vintages’ (the man other wine companies would just call ‘winemaker’) leaves no stone unturned and no expense spared to create the finest expressions of each single year in Champagne.

Dom Pérignon is exclusively a vintage Champagne, meaning it is made with grapes harvested from a single year; whilst the aim of all the ‘big brands’ is to develop a signature style, the very best wines also aim to reflect the personality of the year, or vintage. In the case of Dom Pérignon, the style is predominantly focused on texture (its velvet-soft feel in the mouth is mainly due to its extended ageing, which makes the bubbles pin-prick small; this gives the impression that the wine is hovering over the tongue) and minerality. Regardless of the intensity of fruit derived from the vintage, you can always discern a chalky, wet stone character; evidence of old vines rooting deep into the ground – essential for concentration and complexity of fruit.

Dom Pérignon released its 2002 Rosé to the world in Istanbul at the end of January, and being one of the first to taste it there on the banks of the Bosphorus, I would have to say it was truly sensational. So good in fact that when the 2002 Rosé had its UK release a week or so after this event, it sold out in an hour (although we have since picked up some more; contact us directly through the website for details and availability), but it would be amiss of me not to tell you what the wine was actually like.

I wrote: ‘Intoxicating! Black cherry, Rosé, acacia, marzipan, wild strawberry, woodsmoke, chalk… layers of florality and spice. Deeply complex, with immensely seductive, smoky characters and a heady lift of sweet white flowers and spice. Loads of fresh fruit too. It’s incredibly dense and yet so light; it’s tight and compact yet so broad and indulgent… it speaks of the cuisine, the spice markets, the incredibly ripe Mediterranean fruit… now I know why we are in Istanbul!’

Assuming that you weren’t fortunate enough to snap up any of the stunning DP Rosé 2002 on release, what should you be drinking to celebrate the festival of lovers? Here’s BI’s Top Five for Rosé Champagnes:

1. Dom Pérignon Rosé 2000 – £550 per case 3 (In Bond)

Dom Perignon Rose 2000

In the enforced absence of the 2002, this is a more than ample replacement. The 2000 Rosé from Dom Pérignon is a wine of incredible density, ripe fruit and class. In much the same way as the 2002, it speaks more of Pinot Noir than Champagne, in that it’s probably closest in flavour profile to a great Red Burgundy – albeit with fine, polished bubbles. A serious wine which would partner lobster or even fillet steak.

2. Dom Ruinart Rosé 1996 – £1,570 per case 12 (In Bond)

Dom Ruinart Rose 1996

Ruinart is Champagne’s oldest house and 1996 was another sensational vintage in Champagne, albeit one which produced wines which have taken a little longer to show their true capabilities. The 1996 Dom Ruinart Rosé is a more chiselled, mineral style than the lush, extrovert Dom Pérignon 2000 and would make a fine aperitif or starter wine.

3. Krug Rosé NV – £1,785 per case 12 (In Bond)

Krug Rose NV

Created by the Krug brothers to prove that Rosé wasn’t just for ‘birthday cakes and girls in nightclubs’, this is a serious, rich Rosé very much in the Krug style – in fact, their intention was to make a wine that was only discernible from Krug Brut by its colour! As the winemaking has developed, it has embraced its style and has clear raspberry and dark cherry characters alongside the signature toasty notes.

4. Pol Roger Rosé 2004 – £540 per case 12 (In Bond)

Pol Roger Rose 2004

From the great Winston Churchill’s favourite Champagne producer comes this delightful and exceptionally priced Rosé fizz. Shows vibrant red fruit and spice on the nose, followed by very soft bubbles on the palate and a great concentration of fruit with a hint of smoke and tea. Drinking beautifully now and over the next five years or more.

5. Bollinger Rosé NV – £360 per case 12 (In Bond)

Bollinger Rose NV

At this price, you can drink this stuff all day, and once you’ve tasted it, you might want to! No fluffy pink froth here, just seriously food-friendly, rich and generous Champagne as you would expect from the legendary House of Bollinger. With the house-style being loaded towards Pinot Noir (this is 62%, with the remainder Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier) you would expect breadth and a good dose of red fruits: this bottle doesn’t disappoint.

Giles Cooper, Bordeaux Index

Giles Cooper is head of marketing and PR at BI, which provides customers with rare and exceptional wines around the world.

Established in 1997, BI has quickly grown into a major force in the international fine wine market: with offices in London, Hong Kong and Singapore and an annual turnover of more than £100m, BI is a wine merchant with an inclusive, unstuffy approach.

Don’t miss Giles’s previous article for Insignia Lifestyle Boutique, The Top 10 Wines from Bordeaux Index

 

For more information on BI visit the website, or contact Giles on +44 20 7269 0700.

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