The 2010 Dom Pérignon is hard to get a read on today. I have tasted it four times over the last few months, and my feeling is that it is still not totally put together. Apricot, pastry, chamomile, mint and light tropical notes are all signatures of a hot vintage with a very fast final phase of ripening that trails only 2002 and 2003 in terms of sugars. Of course, the year had plenty of challenges. The first part of the year was marked by cold and very dry weather during the winter and spring. June saw heat and some stress in the vines. July and August were quite warm, with heavy rains on August 15 and 16 that caused a widespread outbreak of botrytis that accelerated rapidly in the days leading up to harvest. Chef de Caves Vincent Chaperon explained that Chardonnay was favored over Pinot because better aeration within the clusters helped fend off rot, while parcels that had been less stressed by the June heat also suffered less from the effects of botrytis. Perhaps because of the unevenness in the season, there is also something disjointed about the 2010. While sugars were high, so were acidities, just behind 2008 in the decade of the 2000s. It will be interesting to see where the 2010 goes over time. It is the first vintage made under the direction of Vincent Chaperon, who worked alongside outgoing Chef de Caves Richard Geoffroy for many years. (Originally published in August 2020)
Anticipated maturity: 2012-2035
A vintage Vincent Chaperon is convinced has been misguidedly overlooked. 54% Chardonnay, 46% Pinot Noir. Dosage 5g/l. This bottle was disgorged February 2019. For the background see this article. Amazingly, obviously, Dom P on the nose – the powerful lemon-mousse nose came soaring out of the glass long before my nose got anywhere near it. Massive intensity of complex aroma hints that this might be a little blowsy on the palate but not a bit of it. It’s really tense and tight on the palate and has a certain fumey smokiness to the very concentrated palate. But its most marked feature is the persistence of the finish. This, along with the concentration, makes me confident we will be seeing this in a P2 version, even though 15% of the potential Pinot Noir was left on the ground. Definitely not a weak vintage of Dom P.
Anticipated maturity: 2020-2030
James Suckling 98
A firm and vivid Champagne with a precise, focused palate. Full-bodied and dry. It’s very layered and bright with light pineapple, peach, praline, cooked-apple and stone aromas and flavors. It’s very subtle and focused at the end. Integrated with richness and high acidity. Good depth. Reminds me of the 1995. Very clean. Solid. Lovely to drink already, but will age nicely.
Robert Parker 92
The 2010 Dom Perignon is already expressive, wafting from the glass with aromas of crisp green apple, peach, iodine, freshly baked bread, orange oil and smoke. Medium to full-bodied, pillowy and charming, it’s soft and round, with ripe acids, a moderately concentrated core of fruit and a pearly mousse, concluding with a saline finish. Open-knit and pretty, this is a giving Dom Perignon that readers might think of as reminiscent of a less reductive version of the 2000 vintage.
Anticipated maturity: 2020-2035