x
  • Country ranking ?

    1 167
  • Producer ranking ?

    39
  • Decanting time

    15min
  • When to drink

    now to 2030
  • Food Pairing

    Sole au Vert

I consider these three vintages as the greatest ones of the past 20 years at Dom Pérignon, and I am pleased that we made them available right as we speak: 2002 Dom Pérignon Vintage, 1996 Dom Pérignon Œnothèque and 1990 Dom Pérignon Rosé Œnothèque.

These three vintages all display a very strong character, making a statement about intensity, volume and stature. Two of them (1990 and 2002) showed a personality fusional with the style of Dom Pérignon, highlighting the typical aspects of ampleness, roundness and texture. To the contrary, the nature of the 1996 vintage was in tension with the character of Dom Pérignon: concentration and power to the point of being somewhat provocative and haughty. This confrontation with Dom Pérignon’s style helped create a great Champagne.

In a way it reminds me of wine & food pairings: one can either play on the complementarity (fusion), or the opposition (tension). In both cases outstanding results can be achieved, but the greatest challenge lies with finding harmony in conflict.

Richard Geoffroy, Creator and Chef de Cave of Dom Pérignon

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The Story

 At the end of the 17th Century, Dom Pierre Pérignon stated his ambition to create ‘the best wine in the world’.  On 29 September 1694, Dom Pierre Pérignon wrote that his mission was to create “the best wine in the world.” He dedicated himself to improving viticulture techniques, perfecting the art blending grapes from different crus, and introduced the gentle and fractional pressing to obtain white wine from black grapes.Ever since, the House of Dom Pérignon has perpetuated this visionary approach instilled by its founder, one that remains a hallmark of true luxury: the constant reinvention of the exceptional.

Under the creative leadership of cellar master Richard Geoffroy, Dom Pérignon is reinvented with every vintage. The miraculous concept of assemblage – the delicate balance between Pinot Noir and Chardonnay – and the commitment to Vintage are instrumental in the act of creation, revealing the wine's extra soul. Precise and tactile to the point of seamlessness, tense through rhythm and vibrancy, vigorous and fresh yet mature, intense and complex – such is the sensual style of Dom Pérignon: so inviting, yet so mysterious...

The core of the blend are the eight historical Grands Crus, Aÿ, Bouzy, Verzenay, Mailly, Chouilly, Cramant, Avize and Le Mesnil, plus the legendary Hautvillers Premier Cru. Dom Perignon also has the unique privilege of being able to select grapes from all 17 Grands Crus in Champagne. giving birth to Dom Perignon's highly intriguing contrast".

 

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Vintage 1996

THE HARVEST
The year was full of contrasts and the summer changeable, with the wetter periods never quite making up for the earlier hydric deficit. Eventually, in the month before grape-picking (16 September), it was as much the spells of hot weather as the influence of north-easterly winds that led to the original maturity of the vintage.

TASTING NOTES
On the nose
White peach, candied lemons, vanilla, praline and white pepper.

On the palate
A paradoxical vintage where concentration and balance rival each other. The structure asserts itself by being well-defined. Concentrated, although momentarily restrained, this vintage opens up dramatically, leaving a striking and enduring richness

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Tasting note

color

Medium

ending

Medium

flavors

Smoky and Mineral

nose

Refined

recommend

Yes

taste

Well-Integrated and Fresh

Written Notes

When I tasted this wine for the first time it was together with Tom Stevenson at its world premier at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in London. Both of us were surprised by the openness and direct charm that this classic, unmistakable Dom Pérignon exhibited. The acidity was there, under the blanket of sweet, rich aromas created by a rather high dosage and ripe grapes. The nose is heavenly with its elements of peach, lemon, and lime, together with vanilla, chocolate creams, and coffee beans. The taste is caressingly soft and very rich. Wonderful on the spot, but surely a wine to follow through life's every phase. Geoffroy is a genius!
  • 95p
Very fresh nose (of course) full of stones, taut citrus, dust and pinches of anise and minerals. There was an intense, taut center flirting with pungency but not really pungent, more like intensity. Man, do I love the 1996s - the zip, zest and zoom of the vintage are tremendous and better than 1990 in my opinion. Bernard agreed with that opinion, calling the balance and acidity .a notch above.. The 1996 had great acidity, and flavors of citrus, anise, bread, stones, minerals and raindrops. There were additional flavors of limestone and seltzer on the finish. Dan picked up on its "straw" flavors, and it got stonier with time. The 1996 had an unmatched verve for the evening
  • 96p
A wine we'd all seen numerous times before and one most of us love. It can be a bit variable but not so here. It was stunning and has been slowly maturing to near perfection. A mature, complex, refined champagne with concentration, great length and depth. Honey, nuts, florals and spices. And yet, it still offers amazing and wonderful freshness. Lingers beautifully. This really is a great Champagne.
  • 98p

Information

Origin

Reims, Champagne

Vintage Quality

Outstanding

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

Below Average

Fake factory

None

Glass Time

1h

Drinking Temperature

8

Other wines from this producer

Brut Impérial

Dom Pérignon Oenothèque

Dom Pérignon Oenothèque Rosé

Dom Pérignon P2

Dom Pérignon P2 Rosé

Dom Pérignon P3

Dom Pérignon Résérve de l'Abbaye

Dom Pérignon Rosé

Dom Pérignon Rosé P3

Grand Vintage

Grand Vintage Collection

Grand vintage rosé

Moët Ice Impérial

Nectar Imperial

Rosé Impérial

Saran

Vinothèque

Vintage

Vintage rosé

Inside Information

99 points James Suckling

  Still looking impossibly fresh, this was first released in 2004 and shows the ability of Dom to hold together an incredible array of complex aromas, flavours and textural layering over considerable time. The grapefruit citrus characters are almost Burgundian in proportion, both in terms of aromas and flavours; there are elements of fine brioche, various fresh and grilled nuts, plenty of chalk, a little spice and honey all vying for attention on the nose. The palate is vibrant, exhilarating and tightly wound still, the acidity is mouth-watering and the composure flawless. Finishes long, bracingly fresh and gently bitter. Drinking very well now, it will improve for a decade or more.   (8/ 2014)

99 points Wine Enthusiast

  *Cellar Selection* A magnificent Champagne, one that is light, delicate, yet packed with character. It is beautifully balanced, with a bone-dry character, just softened by the toastiness that is developing. Expect this to age for many years.   (12/ 2010)

 

97 points Antonio Galloni

  Dinner starts with the 1996 Dom Pérignon Oenothèque, a Champagne that is beginning to drink well only now, several years after its release. The razor sharp acidity and minerality are fully integrated with fruit that is beginning to enter its second plateau of development. In a perfect world, Dom Pérignon would be releasing the 1996 today, as it is only recently that the wine has begun to shine.   (5/ 2014)

 

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

  The 1996 Dom Perignon OEenotheque offers up layers of pastry, lemon, smoke and toastiness. At first deceptively understated, the wine turns positively explosive and layered on the palate, showing remarkable tension, elegance and power, all wrapped around a seriously intense frame. The balance between fruit and acidity is awesome. This is a marvelous DP OEeno. The OEeno is the same juice as the regular Dom Perignon, except the OEeno is aged on the cork while the regular DP is aged in crown-sealed bottles. Once disgorged, the OEenos gets a slightly lower dosage than is typical for the original release DP. This bottle was disgorged in 2008. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2026. (AG)   (12/ 2010)

 

96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

  (disgorged in 2008): Yellow-gold. Explosive aromas of ripe pear, honey, gingerbread and iodine, with intense smokiness and notes of chalky minerals and magnolia. Sappy, palate-staining orchard and pit fruit flavors are braced by exotic spice and mineral qualities, picking up notes of buttery brioche and toasted grain with air. Strikingly dense but energetic too, finishing with superb thrust and mineral-driven persistence. This ridiculously complex Champagne is only beginning to enter its window of maturity.  (12/ 2013)

96 points Wine & Spirits

 

  This transforms the violent power of 1996 into a supple and succulent wine, holding the masculine tension of the vintage while yielding more delicate complexities: orange peel, cedar, ginger, tobacco. The wine’s refinement is extraordinary, the sumptuous richness girded into a gentle, sunny finish that lives in the memory after lingering for minutes on the lips. A youthful classic that shows no signs of its 16 years of age, this should live for decades.   (12/ 2012)

Jancis Robinson

 

  Disgorged 2008, this is wonderfully meaty, substantial wine still with the vintage's marked acidity but now tamed and counterbalanced by much more flesh and creaminess. Nothing remotely soft about this but lots of struck match character still and ramrod straight in structure. Should go on for many a long year but the texture is fantastic - just the merest hint of brioche too. A majestic, rather intellectual wine. 19/20 points.  (8/ 2011)

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Highlights

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users. or to see wine moments from your world.

95p
 Richard Juhlin / The number One champagne expert in the world, Pro (Sweden)  tasted  Dom Pérignon 1996  ( Moët & Chandon )

"When I tasted this wine for the first time it was together with Tom Stevenson at its world premier at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in London. Both of us were surprised by the openness and direct charm that this classic, unmistakable Dom Pérignon exhibited. The acidity was there, under the blanket of sweet, rich aromas created by a rather high dosage and ripe grapes. The nose is heavenly with its elements of peach, lemon, and lime, together with vanilla, chocolate creams, and coffee beans. The taste is caressingly soft and very rich. Wonderful on the spot, but surely a wine to follow through life's every phase. Geoffroy is a genius!"

1y 4m ago

96p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Dom Pérignon 1996  ( Moët & Chandon )

"Very fresh nose (of course) full of stones, taut citrus, dust and pinches of anise and minerals. There was an intense, taut center flirting with pungency but not really pungent, more like intensity. Man, do I love the 1996s - the zip, zest and zoom of the vintage are tremendous and better than 1990 in my opinion. Bernard agreed with that opinion, calling the balance and acidity .a notch above.. The 1996 had great acidity, and flavors of citrus, anise, bread, stones, minerals and raindrops. There were additional flavors of limestone and seltzer on the finish. Dan picked up on its "straw" flavors, and it got stonier with time. The 1996 had an unmatched verve for the evening"

1y 5m ago

94p
 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  Dom Pérignon 1996  ( Moët & Chandon )

"I was looking forward to this one, haven't tasted it for about two years, used to be a favorite, now adding body, richer and more fruity than I remember, brioch, and that lovely mousse. Fresh acidity, quite intense DP, lively and still subdued, long apply finish. 94"

1y 8m ago

97p
 Ray Thomsen, Wine Writer (Switzerland)  tasted  Dom Pérignon 1996  ( Moët & Chandon )

"The 1996 DP is atypical for Dom Pérignon in that it very powerful, intense, and concentrated, and has greater acidity than usual, because of the nature of the vintage. Right now, the 1996 Dom is rather closed, but with huge potential, for me this will be one of the all time great Dom’s "

1y 9m ago

98p
 Ken Gargett, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  Dom Pérignon 1996  ( Moët & Chandon )

"A wine we'd all seen numerous times before and one most of us love. It can be a bit variable but not so here. It was stunning and has been slowly maturing to near perfection. A mature, complex, refined champagne with concentration, great length and depth. Honey, nuts, florals and spices. And yet, it still offers amazing and wonderful freshness. Lingers beautifully. This really is a great Champagne.



"

2y 4m ago

91p
 Oumy Diaw, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  Dom Pérignon 1996  ( Moët & Chandon )

"Black Label disgorged In 2008.
Eye: Green hues. Medium bodied. Round, mellow.
"

2y 4m ago

97p
 Ken Gargett, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  Dom Pérignon 1996  ( Moët & Chandon )

"Tried this wine on numerous occasions since its release and it has almost always proved a joy, though there seemed to be a batch or two with dodgy corks come through at one stage. This one had no such problems – drank sublimely. This was simply the best example of Dom 96 I’ve seen (if you think I was a bit too generous with my scoring, there were 8 of us at the tasting and I think I was the most miserly).
In pristine condition. Still fresh and young – a bit Benjamin Button-ish, as it seems to be getting younger, not older.
Delightfully complex with a lemon cream texture, it is elegant and lingering. Citrus, hazelnuts, lemon blossom.
An ethereal champagne that is settling in for a very long life. Not just one of the great Dom's, but one of the top champagnes from the last decade or two.
"

4y 6m ago

93p
 Essi Avellan MW / Editor of the Champagne magazine, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Dom Pérignon 1996  ( Moët & Chandon )

"Pale lemon green colour. Fragrant toasty nose of sulphur, still unintegrated, smokiness. Lively, gunflity, light cheerful and effervescent. Starting to open up. Lovely. Very very young, almost primary, most youthful 96 I have taste"

4y 8m ago

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