Last night (Tuesday December 3), I attended a tasting of Balblair vintages. We tasted five whiskies, 2003, 1997, 1990, 1983 and 1969, prefaced by a glass of Balblair’s base spirit.
The new vintage, which is available in the UK from February 2012 for Ł120, was unveiled yesterday at simultaneous launch events in London, New York, Hong Kong, Paris and Tokyo.
Talking via satellite link from the Paris event, Dom Pérignon’s chef de cave Richard Geoffroy said the decision to make a vintage from 2003 grapes had taken place very early on in the process and in spite of challenging growing conditions.
“The 2003 was a real challenge to overcome but Dom Pérignon was committed to the vintage,” he told journalists. “There was never any doubt that it would be produced.”
According to the champagne house, 2003 saw an exceptionally cold and dry winter, frost then a heat wave in spring and the hottest summer for 53 years.
Geoffroy agreed with journalists that the 2003 drew comparison with Dom Pérignon's 1976, especially in terms of dosage and ageing potential.