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The uniqueness of Dom Pérignon vintages lies in the way they evolve - not steadily in a linear way but through successive windows of expression. These privileged points in time are called “Plénitudes” - captured moments when the wine sings higher and stronger.
P2 is the Second Plénitude of Dom Pérignon Vintage, the result of 16 years of elaboration. The opposing and complementary elements of the assemblage resound for an increasingly sharp intensity. The energy of the wine is at its peak.
In 2014, Dom Perignon announced that it would be changing the name of its late-release Oenothèque series into a “P2” and “P3” offerings, referring to the second and third “plenitudes” of development in the evolution of a Champagne.
P2 offerings are fully matured, recently disgorged Champagnes that have been stored in the cellars where they were originally made.
“Dom Pérignon wines follow the rhythm of three plénitudes: the first after seven years maturing on their lees; the second between eleven and twenty years; and the third beyond twenty. In the darkness of our cellars, from one plénitude to the next, Dom Pérignon will grow and blossom, transmuting time into energy….The lineage of all the vintages in their third plénitude represents the living memory of Dom Pérignon, transmitting this heritage through generations of Chefs de Cave.” -Winemaker’s Notes
Dom Perignon’s Plenitude is a result of the savoir-faire and patience of winemakers who waited for raisins to mature during the miraculously sunny harvest season. Created from perfectly healthy and mature grapes, Plenitudecarries the precision of an organ maker. The nose exudes a brief yet intense bouquet opening on scents of honeysuckle, orange followed by toasted almonds, ending on hints of refreshing, iodized salt. The palate marks this vintage with character and creamy texture. The finish of Dom Perigon’s 1996 Plenitude offers smoky notes with lovely energy. Absolute precision!
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.