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 2002 harvest:
The spring was warm and dry, with no significant frost and near-perfect flowering. The summer was marked by long sunny periods, interspersed with regular cloudy and rainy spells. The unexpectedly perfect weather just before the harvest compensated for the heavy rains of late August and early September. The vines were in good health, and the dehydration of the grape berries helped them reach new heights of ripeness. The harvest began between September 12 and 28.
On the nose:
The first hints of fresh almond and harvest aromas immediately open up into preserved lemon and dried fruits, the whole rounded off by darker smoky and toasted qualities.
On the palate:
The presence of the wine on the palate is immediately captivating. Paradoxically concentrated yet creamy, it is energetic and warm in the mouth, focusing on the fruit, then gradually taking on more profound bass notes. The whole holds its note perfectly, intensively, with just a subtle, elegant hint of underlying bitterness.
Vintage 2002 by Richard Geoffroy, Dom Pérignon
Chef de Cave