The summer of 2003 was a brutal ordeal for the people of France. The country’s typically mild summertime temperatures climbed in August to historic levels, making it the hottest season in nearly 500 years, and weather-related deaths approached 15,000. The wine industry experienced casualties of a less tragic nature, as vintners struggled to prevent their grapes from withering on the vines. Few growers had any experience in dealing with such blistering conditions, and most abandoned all hope of declaring a vintage. Richard Geoffroy, chef de cave of Dom Pérignon, was an exception. Not only did he construct a brut of exceptional quality—albeit one defined less by aromatics than by its powerful structure and vivid texture— but he also made a masterful yet unusual rosé. The Dom Pérignon 2003 Brut Rosé ($299, domperignon.com) seems to glow in the glass like a fire opal, and its dense, frothy consistency bathes the palate in flavors of cherry lozenge, apricot preserves, candied ginger, peat, and sea brine.