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
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".
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.
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