Read our profile on Dom Pérignon, one of the first and finest luxury Champagne brands...
Dom Pérignon Champagne is made by the house of Moët & Chandon. It is named after a 17th century Benedictine monk who revolutionised the production of sparkling wine. He developed a method for preventing problems during refermentation that commonly broke the bottles. He also laid out guidelines for winemaking, such as using discarding overly large grapes, early-morning harvesting and using multiple presses to minimise maceration.
Over the subsequent decades and centuries, there have been several reports that Dom Pérignon invented what we now define as Champagne. However, while he contributed strongly to winemaking techniques, he is not considered to have created France’s premier sparkling wine.
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Dom Pérignon is only available as a vintage and is made using a blend of two grape varieties: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, harvested from some of the best vineyards in Champagne. It’s made using roughly 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay, although each the proportions are slightly different for each vintage (sometimes shifting up to 10% either way). In 1959 Dom Pérignon began to produce Rosé Champagne as part of its collection, since then 24 vintages have been released. Chef de Cave Richard Geoffroy, is in charge of deciding on the Dom Pérignon vintage.
Moët & Chandon bought the brand name for their prestige cuvée in 1937. Today, Dom Perignon is part of the Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) empire owned by France’s richest man, Bernard Arnault. It has been the Champagne of choice for numerous celebrities and royalty over the years. Memorably it chosen for the wedding of Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles in 1981.
The ‘P2-1998’ marks both the end of the Oenothèque range and the first in its new ‘second plenitude’ series. The plenitude concept, is a series of stages during a wine’s development on its lees that produces ‘windows of opportunity or plenitudes’ which, once the wine is disgorged, can represent different expressions of the same vintage.
There are three such plenitudes: the first (P1), which shows ‘harmony’, comes approximately eight years after the vintage, while the second (P2) takes ‘roughly 15 years’, 12 of which are spent on its lees. For the second plenitude, They’re looking for the peak of energy, intensity and vibrancy, showing the wine in high-definition and the third stage takes place between 30 and 40 years after the vintage with ‘no less than 20 years on its lees.
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