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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.
P3 offerings are fully matured, recently disgorged Champagnes that have been stored in the cellars where they were originally made.
The maturation of Dom Pérignon occurs not in a simple linear trajectory, but in successive leaps into new expression, each of which are called Plénitudes. In the long journey of elaboration, the wine goes through this metamorphosis, a transformation. Each Plénitude contributes to Dom Pérignon’s singularity. In the darkness of the cellars, from one plénitude to the next, Dom Pérignon will grow and blossom, transmuting time into energy.
There are three plenitudes in the life of a given vintage: the first window or plenitude is around 6-8 after the vintage. This is when Dom Pérignon Vintage is released.
The second plenitude, or P2, arrives between 12-15 years after vintage, and is about when the energy reaches its climax; showing intensity and vibrancy in high-definition.
The third plenitude, P3, comes after around 30 years, when the Champagne has spent more than 20 years on its lees. This is a stage in which maximum complexity is sought, very concentrated, with the most wisdom but with less energy.
“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.
This sunny and hot drought year with record heat levels across Europe led to a very early harvest, which began on September 1st. Large yields (averaging 10,359 kg/ha) of super ripe fruit produced rich and powerful champagnes, although relatively low in acidity (averaging 7.2 g/l). The acidity levels made some winemakers doubt the wines' longevity but this has since been proven wrong by a multitude of majestic 1976 Champagnes defying time. The style is unashamedly ripe, big and even fatty with plush fruitiness. By no means ‘classic' in style but nevertheless great and a forefather to the warm vintages we are experiencing now. Bollinger R.D. 1976 from magnum for example, is something to behold. Other magnificent cuvées include Philipponnat Clos des Goisses, Dom Pérignon Brut and P3, Perrier-Jouët Belle Époque, Piper-Heidsieck Rare and Taittinger Comtes de Champagne.
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