• Country ranking ?

  • Producer ranking ?

  • Decanting time

  • When to drink

    now to 2030
  • Food Pairing

    Sole au Vert

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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


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".

It begins with a vision: Dom Pérignon’s creative ambition strives towards harmony as a source of emotion.
All creative processes have their constraints. Dom Pérignon's constraint is the vintage. Dom Pérignon can only be produced from the harvest of a single year. Dom Pérignon is one and indivisible.

Its Vintages express themselves fully into three dimensions:
The year: the character of the seasons;
The Plénitudes: evolution by successive windows of expression on the way of the long maturation on lees;
The colour: white or rosé.

Can one single glass be created to fully express the champagne across years, Plénitudes and colors? Thus guarantee the best tasting experience: on the eye, on the nose and on the palate. Dom Pérignon chose to take on this challenge with the experience of Richard Geoffroy, passing on its intangible legacy to its successor, Vincent Chaperon, and the savoir-faire of Maximilian Riedel, CEO of Riedel, and 11th generation of the family.

The Riedel glass tradition dates back to 1673 in Bohemia, but Claus Riedel, 9th generation, was the first to create purely functional glasses directly inspired by the Bauhaus movement: form follows function. Since the end of the 1950s, the company Riedel has consistently created the best possible glasses to highlight the qualities of complex wines in the nose and mouth. Today, its founding principle is that the wine alone defines the final shape of the glass, and no preconceived design or trend should intervene in its elaboration.

The “Dom Pérignon” glass came to life in a creative process that unfolded over the course of a year. The new glass emerged through numerous tastings and ultimately took form following critiques and refinements.

Riedel designed the “Dom Pérignon” glass to be in symbiosis with every Vintages of the House, shedding a light on the singularity of Dom Pérignon. Unfailingly true to Dom Pérignon’s vision, the new glass sets the stage for harmony by enhancing:
- Weight: substantial, yet with a certain lightness and ease, powerful but not forceful
- Flow: a tension, a “yin & yang” that enables the wine to express itself without exaggerating any dimension of its complexity
- Texture: continuous, seamless, tactile
- Finish: fruit-driven, encompassing both minerality and salinity

“The Dom Pérignon glass is magic, a success in both functionality and design. It feels very good in your hand and makes you even more excited about the Dom Pérignon in the fine glass.” said Riedel. The new “Dom Pérignon” glass will be used for all Dom Pérignon tastings and experiences, as well at selected partners locations. It is also available for consumer purchase on Clos19 or Riedel website.

Dom Pérignon Glass by Riedel


Wine Information

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


Vintage 1996

Up to this point 1996 has been considered a fantastic vintage which produced classic wines; the best since 1990. A long, dry summer produced grapes of record ripeness with record acidity. Some, including myself, question how the 1996s are aging. The wines are generally characterized by a distinctive rather lemony acidity and very good attack, but some wines now seem terribly austere, while others already seem dangerously short of fruit. None of the subsequent vintages are quite as distinctive as 1996, which in the more successful cases should almost certainly be drunk after the 1999s.


Tasting note






Smoky and Mineral






Well-Integrated and Fresh

Written Notes

The 1996 Dom Perignon had a 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 (96). 

  • 96p
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
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

Superbly toasty, highly expressive nose packed with sweet gunpowder, roasted coffee, aromatic wood, liquorice, guava, ginger, melon and mineral notes. Long and linear structure coming with accentuated steely acidity. Highly youthful still, full of unreleased energy. Tastes like a magnum. Disgorged 2013.

  • 97p

Disappointing for a 1996 Dom - I have tried better bottles before. The acidity is sharp and stands out while the flavors are a bit dull rather than lifted. When the bottle warmed up, it improved a bit but still lacking in intensity and depth I would expect from a great vintage.

  • 92p
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
  • 94p
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Reims, Champagne

Vintage Quality


Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

Below Average

Fake factory


Glass time


Drinking temperature


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


MCIII 001.14

Moët Ice Impérial

Nectar Imperial

Nectar Imperial Rosé Dry

Rosé Impérial




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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