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 P3.
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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.
A vintage Vincent Chaperon is convinced has been misguidedly overlooked. 54% Chardonnay, 46% Pinot Noir. Dosage 5g/l. This bottle was disgorged February 2019. 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. 2020-2030