“Champagne Jayne” was recently mentioning in a comment a trilogy of outstanding vintages: 1953, 1955 and 1959. I have the opportunity (or rather, the privilege!) to taste all the Dom Pérignon vintages regularly, which allows me to follow their evolution for the OEnothèque programme. I decided to browse through my notes to offer you these impressions.
1953 Dom Pérignon
(tasted in 2009, no dosage)
1953 was a generous vintage, very expressive right at release (about as totally opposed to 1952 as possible). Rich and full, mellow and luscious, this wine reveals notes of butter, honey and dried apricot. As the wine breathes the toasted character stands out to evolve in the end towards iodine and oyster shells.
1955 Dom Pérignon
(tasted in 2009, no dosage)
1955 was the archetype of the classical vintage that defines harmony in Champagne—maybe the greatest of the decade. Very energetic and racy, remarkably thorough, this wine is at the same time intense and profound. These qualities express the typical, intriguing paradox of youth versus maturity, combining to create a feeling of completeness. Right in the center, the fruit (sultana) is still very vibrant, with notes of vanilla, smoke and praline (sugar-coated almond).
1959 Dom Pérignon OEnothèque
(tasted in 2010, disgorged in 1999, one of the five vintages selected in 2000 for the launch of Dom Pérignon OEnothèque with 1964, 1973, 1980 and 1985)
1959 was an atypical vintage with exceptional ripeness (comparable to 1893 or 1947). I feel this wine managed to accomodate the excesses of the vintage, sublimating it with a very personal interpretation. This wine displays restrained power and opulence, avoiding the pitfalls of oxydation or inordinate heaviness. Remarkably persistent and complex, it exhibits a captivating bouquet of earthy notes: black and white truffle, peat and chocolate with hints of dried fig and even red fruit (!)
DOM PÉRIGNON OENOTHÈQUE / As the custodian of Dom Pérignon’s history and style, Geoffroy watches over a few samples of each vintage in his OEnothèque, the Chef de Cave’s wine cellar. In the OEnothèque, the wine continues to mature for years and even decades, and is reborn with each metamorphosis of time, for Dom Pérignon is unanimously recognized for its impressive aging potential. As Geoffroy puts it, “Dom Pérignon OEnothèque is the ultimate expression of a wine whose style defies time.”
Geoffroy’s commitment to the OEnothèque program, which began with the 1990 Vintage, involves ongoing personal research on each vintage. The effect of time on the bottled wine retains its share of mystery and surprise even for him.
Dom Pérignon keeps pushing one step further, sometimes rewriting the rules, to pave the path for renewed experiences. So does Œnothèque, glorifying the exclusive process of actively aging a wine on its lees to offer a magnified style through re-releases. Œnothèque prolongs the character of the original Vintage wine, coming ever closer to the ideal of Dom Pérignon. The patience of wine lovers is now rewarded with a deeper, more intimate discovery and perception of Dom Pérignon. The current Vintage is put in proper perspective by giving a glimpse of the aging potential. It would now be virtually impossible for me to imagine Dom Pérignon without its Œnothèque expression.
Recommended glass shape
Average Bottle Price
|2 422€ +0.5%||2 409€ +87.0%||1 288€ -26.6%||1 755€ +47.5%||1 190€|