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“Dom Perignon’s creation is centered upon its absolute dedication to vintage wines. Each Vintage wine is created from the best grapes grown in one single year – a true challenge for a unique interpretation of the seasons, and for reinvention. The uniqueness of Dom Perignon vintages lies in the way they evolve – not steadily and in a linear way but by successive windows of expression that are called “Plenitudes”. Reaching new heights and revealing the spirit of Dom Perignon even more distinctly, it is only at these times that the wine is worthy of a new release.
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….to reach the third plénitude, when the spirit of Dom Pérignon fully reveals itself. At this stage, Dom Pérignon’s complexity becomes unsurpassed. 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.
After an astonishingly mild winter and early, rapid flowering of the vines, the 1988 vintage was marked by a summer of alternating heavy rain and high temperatures.
The philosophy, vision and spirit of Dom Pérignon are incarnated in his Manifesto, a document which explains the ten basic principles guiding winemaking at the House. Dom Pérignon can only be a vintage and blended. Each year, the Chef de Cave reinvents the House style with different grapes, creating a unique vintage, a perfect balance between the expression of Dom Pérignon and the expression of the vintage itself. It is made using a subtle blend of two grape varieties – Pinot Noir and Chardonnay – which are taken from the very best vineyards in Champagne. The wines owe their complexity to the slow ripening of the grapes, which conserves freshness while revealing new aromas and new textures with the passing of time. These aromas, which develop in the wines as they are protected from oxygen during the aging process, guarantee exceptional cellaring potential and a characteristic minerality which is an aromatic signature of the House.
CHAMPAGNE: From this year, the most classic and refined champagnes were produced. Champagnes are long-lived and mature slowly to their peak.
Winter and spring were fairly mild. Inflorescences began in good weather in June. Already during the next month, the cloud masses swarmed to the Champagne province. Finally, the sky broke right before harvest. The harvest remained smaller than in the previous year. Even though the weather was unstable, the vintage produced fine and elegant wines, of which many have just reached their peak. The wines are marked by high acids and a concentrated, precise style. A real classic vintage. There is no rush to enjoy these wines, as they endure storage well and will continue to develop well for the next 10–12 years. Indicative of a slowly maturing vintage is that Krug released to the market first the Clos du Mesnil 1989 vintage before the 1988 vintage. This year has also stayed in mind as the vintage when Jacquesson & Fils produced the first of its three late bottled special cuvées – the Jacquesson DT (Dégorgement Tardif).