Something about Dom Perignon
Dom Pérignon was the 17th century Benedictine monk who has gone down in history as the person who “invented” Champagne. His name was originally registered by Eugène Mercier. He sold the brand name to Moët & Chandon, which used it as the name for its prestige cuvée, which was first released in 1937.
A rigorous selection process in both the vineyard and winery ensures that only the best grapes go into Dom Pérignon champagne. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are used in roughly equal proportions without one variety dominating the other.
In its youth, Dom Pérignon shows incredibly smooth, creamy fruit with perfect balance and weight. As it ages, it takes on wonderfully toasty aromas and a finesse equalled by very few of the other Grandes Marques.
Since 2014 Dom Pérignon has no longer been using the term oenothèque for its late-release Champagnes, but the word Plenitude. This style represents Dom Pérignon champagne that is left in contact with its lees and does not evolve in a linear fashion, but ages in a series of stages, producing “windows of opportunity, or plenitudes” when the Champagne can be disgorged and released to bring consumers a different expression of the same vintage.
There are three plenitudes in the life of a given vintage: the first plenitude spans between seven to eight years after the vintage, which is when Dom Pérignon Vintage is released, while the second one arrives between 12 and 15 years – which was previously the first oenothèque release, but from now will be branded as P2. The third window comes after around 30 years, when the Champagne has spent more than 20 years on its lees, which will now be termed as P7.
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We started off with my current favorite vintage of Dom Pérignon, the still-youthful, vigorous and a great Dom Pérignon (certainly the best they have released in the 21st century), the 2002. This bottle was everything I had hoped it would be and just marvelous Dom Pérignon - full, crisp, with plenty of citrus, a touch of honey and very D.P.-ish.
The 2002 Dom Pérignon is unforgettable. Rich, sumptuous and flamboyant to the core, the 2002 captures all of the radiance of a year in which ripeness in the Chardonnays was pushed to the edge. The 2002 is oily and viscous on the palate, with tremendous textural resonance in all of its dimensions. Tropical fruit, pastry and exotic floral notes all build as the 2002 opens up with air. I can still remember the first time I tasted the 2002, here in the Hautvillers cloister, with former Chef de Caves Richard Geoffroy. It was thrilling back then, and is every bit as memorable today.
Extraordinarily firm, confident, intense nose. Definitely the savoury side of Dom. Nothing remotely sweet or fat - though it's as intense as a Montrachet. Wonderful quality of mousse - surely slightly less bubbly than it has been? More like a Montrachet with a bit of carbon dioxide laced into it than a typical champagne. Broad and long with a hint of orange peel. Great persistence. This already delivers but has such backbone and great acidity and light grip (only noticeable at the very end of the tasting experience) that it surely has a long life ahead of it. Really reaches every hidden cell of the palate. A very assured performance. LVMH at its very best?
Under the law of Hong Kong, intoxicating liquor must not be sold or supplied to a minor in the course of business. 根據香港法律，不得在業務過程中，向未成年人售賣或供應令人醺醉的酒類。