Dom Perignon P2 Champagne Tasting at Wine Watch

Saturday, October 20, 2018 - 07:30 PM

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Last time I said "no" to champagne, I didn't understand the question.

Andrew Lampasone

 

I am a big Champagne fan and an advocate of teaching people the correct way of enjoying this wonderful elixir.  I am not saying that all of you people who serve Champagne ice cold and drink it moments after opening it are incorrect.  You should enjoy Champagne however you like it, but...You should also learn to treat it as a fine wine and the best Champagnes need time to open like great Bordeaux, Burgundy, Brunelllo, Barolo or any of the world's finest collectible wines.

Some friends invited me to a vertical tasting of Chateau Latour a few years ago and one of the collectors brought a magnum of Dom Perignon 1982 to the party.  It seemed to disappear in a few minutes, but I kept my glass until the end of the night.  I passed it on to some of the others in the room and we could not believe how much this wine had changed, with notes of mushroom and butterscotch now very pronounced.  This 1982 Dom Perignon out of magnum format was a shining example of why you should give great Champagne a chance to stretch its legs and why you should age great Champagnes like Dom Perignon.

Saturday, October 20th we will be showcasing the release of the 2000 vintage of P2 the second Plénitude of Dom Perignon.  At this event you will have the opportunity to taste three vintages of P2 along with the last three releases of Dom Perignon including the highly anticipated 2008 vintage.  But wait there is more…we also have two vintages of Dom Perignon Rose on the table giving you a 10-year perspective on this rare bottling of Dom, unfortunately these are the last two bottles of 1995 Dom Perignon Rose that we have in the store!!

The fee for this tasting is $450 per person this not only includes dinner, but you get to take home a bottle of the 2000 Dom Perignon P2 also!!  There are only 24 spaces available for this tasting and we are almost SOLD OUT without even sending out this offering!!  For reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.

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Dom Perignon Tasting including the newly released 2000 P2
Saturday October 20th
7:30pm
2006 Dom Perignon Brut Champagne
2008 Dom Perignon Brut Champagne
2009 Dom Perignon Brut Champagne
1995 Dom Perignon Rose Brut Champagne
2005 Dom Perignon Rose Brut Champagne
1998 Dom Perignon P2 Plenitude Brut Champagne
1999 Dom Perignon P2 Plenitude Brut Champagne
2000 Dom Perignon P2 Plenitude Brut Champagne

Menu
Selection of charcuterie
Shoestring fries with lemon gremolata
Baby Potatoes Filled with American Sturgeon Caviar
Tuna Crudo with Citrus Soba Noodle Salad
Foie Gras Torchon with Vanilla Scented Brioche and Pineapple Jam
Korean BQQ Ribs with Asian Slaw
Chocolate covered Strawberries with Elderberry scented Whipped Crème

The fee for this tasting which includes a bottle of the 2000 P2 to take home is $450 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.

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Some things in life are enduring symbols of status. Especially things imported that are rare, expensive, and prestigious.  As the Rolls Royce is to the automobile, so is Dom Pérignon to wine.  Those who work in the restaurant business know just when consumptive spending is the order of the day.  The host will quickly survey the Champagne list and order what is the prestige mainstay of practically every full-service restaurant in the United States - Dom Pérignon.  Dom Pérignon is the deluxe cuvée of one Champagne producer, Moët & Chandon.  Practically every major Champagne house in France now produces an extremely expensive deluxe cuvée from a blend of their very best grapes.  There are many that are renowned: Roederer's Cristal; Taittinger's Comtes de Champagne; Perrier-Jouët's Belle Epoche "Flower Bottle" etc.  However, Dom Pérignon has always been the leading name.  For years kings and heads of state celebrated with it (Jack Kennedy drank it on the last night of his life in Fort Worth, Texas); the debonair James Bond, the fictional character who ordered it by name and consumed it with panache in his spy movies in the late sixties, probably was the first to bring wide American awareness to this beverage of style and luxury.

The Champagne was named after the 17th century Benedictine monk who is credited with discovering the Champagne process. Dom Pérignon was the cellarmaster at the Abbey of Hautvillers from 1670 to 1715.  It was here that legend says Dom Pérignon invented the Champagne method and exclaimed after his first sip of the newly created beverage: "I am drinking stars."  No historian has really been able to separate legend from lore, and there are probably a hundred forgotten names along the way to whom Champagne lovers owe a debt.  However, it is known that Dom Pérignon was a great technician, experimented with cork closures (then rare in Champagne) and was one of the first to practice the art of blending cuvées of different types of grapes from different vineyard origins.  Today the Abbey of Hautvillers is the property of Moët & Chandon, and a statue of Dom Pérignon oversees the courtyard.  Dom Pérignon was created at the turn of the century for the private use of the Moët & Chandon family.  In 1936 it was first introduced to the U.S. market, and Americans have had a consuming passion for it ever since.

Dom Pérignon is a blend of the best grapes at Moët's disposal.  The Champagne cellarmaster, Richard Geoffroy, continually tastes and selects various cuvées of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with an attempt to present a wine in which neither predominates.  Some may prefer one year over another, and part of the reason may be a different grape ratio.  For example, the 1976 was 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay; the 1978 was a 50/50 blend.  Controversy has raged among connoisseurs these past few years about how great Dom Pérignon really is.  A number of critics have said that Dom Pérignon has been less than outstanding and does not warrant its extraordinary reputation; we partially agree with that assessment.  We have drunk great Dom Pérignons from the 1960's, but the "DP's" of the middle 1970's were totally uninspiring.  During that period we think many other Champagne houses were producing luxury cuvées superior to that of Dom Pérignon.  The excellent 1978 Dom Pérignon seemed to signal that Dom was back, and the 1980 (although considerably different in style) was also outstanding.  The fabulous 1982 was a switch back to the more elegant style of the 1978.  The 1983 and the 1985 were among the leading wines of that vintage, and this 2000 P2 is again one of the best wines of this very good vintage.  There is no question that with this recent track record that Dom Pérignon is in top form and is once again one of the greatest Champagnes produced in France.

 

The story behind the next Generation of Dom Perignon P2 and P3:

 

Bottles of fine wine can age gracefully and improve with time, developing what the experts call tertiary aromas, usually at the expense of fruit. Assuming proper storage conditions, it matters little whether the cellars where this happens are located in Paris, New York or Tokyo: the outcome will be the same. Not (always) so much with Champagne, however.

Indeed the specificity of Champagne, since its origins, is that it undergoes a secondary fermentation inside the bottle. This is what creates the fizz that once had Dom Pierre Pérignon enthusiastically exclaim “Come, I am drinking stars!” when he first tasted the sparkling wine that is now celebrated all over the world. The yeast performing this secondary fermentation turns into lees that remain in the bottle until it is disgorged. Then and only then is it fit to be tasted by Champagne lovers, and to be stored like any other bottle of fine wine for future enjoyment. However what happens when a bottle is not disgorged? The lees participate in a mysterious evolution of the wine in the bottle, singular to each cuvée and carefully monitored by the Chef de Cave.

In the case of Dom Pérignon, it is a slow yet active maturation, keeping each vintage alive and bafflingly— insolently—youthful. The wine continues to evolve and be magnified. A confounding process: wouldn’t we all like to mature yet remain young? This is the paradox of Dom Pérignon and it makes all the difference in the world.

Each vintage of Dom Pérignon is disgorged and (re)released only when I consider it has reached a new Plénitude, a privileged period of time when Dom Pérignon attains its radiance. Its development comes in successive plateaux which define as many windows of expression I decided to call Plénitudes: the wine then tells us a story that is new and exciting enough to be worth sharing.

After around nine years, Dom Pérignon reaches its first Plénitude and is called Dom Pérignon Vintage. The first Plénitude shows promise, completeness and harmony. Everything is in place. Our new release is Dom Pérignon Vintage 2006.

Some years later, the wine reaches its second Plénitude: this is Dom Pérignon P2. Stored deep into our cellar, the slow yeast maturation taking place in the bottle is inimitable and irreproducible. Dom Pérignon in its second Plénitude is more intense, precise and vibrant, energized by the transformation. A true metamorphosis: its universe has expanded. Dom Pérignon P2 1998 is being currently released.

Finally, the third Plénitude, Dom Pérignon P3, is reached after a longer period of over twenty five years. At this venerable age, all the components are completely integrated and the wine has become more streamlined and complex than ever. The third Plénitude reveals the heritage of Dom Pérignon, a living memory passed down through the generations of Chefs de Cave.

Many Dom Pérignon lovers like to compare the trajectories of a bottle of Dom Pérignon Vintage, stored at their place, side by side with a bottle of Dom Pérignon P2 or P3 longer stored on its lees in our cellars in Epernay. The three Plénitudes side by side is the ultimate horizontal tasting of one and only vintage. Each wine—each Plénitude—will reveal a different facet of Dom Pérignon: P2 and P3, thanks to the extra time spent maturating on their lees under our careful attention, will grant you an experience ever closer to the Spirit of Dom Pérignon.

 

Everything in the store from Dom Perignon:

 

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2006 Dom Perignon Brut Champagne 3 Liter
Price: $2075.00           Sale $1826.00 Quantity in Stock: 1

 

2006 Dom Perignon Brut Champagne Magnum
Price: $729.00 Sale $641.52

2006 Dom Perignon Brut Champagne
Price: $207.75 Sale $179.00

2009 Dom Perignon Brut Champagne 
Price: $207.75 Sale $179.00

2008 Dom Perignon Brut Champagne
Price: $207.75 Sale $179.00

(limited edition packaging with boxes signed by both Chef de Caves)

Dom Perignon P2 Plénitude
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The late-release vintage prestige cuvée was introduced by Dom Pérignon winemaker Vincent Chaperon, who presented the Champagne alongside the original 2000 vintage, which was launched in 2008, having been disgorged in late 2007.

Comparing the two expressions of the same harvest, Chaperon described the P2, which has spent an additional nine years ageing on its lees, as a magnified version of the initial release.

“It has matured on its lees from 2001 to 2016, so it has had 15 years intimate contact with the lees, and we have observed what we are looking for in the second plénitude, which is higher energy, it is when everything becomes bigger, and not only the aromatics,” he said.  Continuing, he explained, “You can observe on the palate that the texture, the creaminess has been beefed up.”

So how do the Champagnes compare?

Well, as you can see in my tasting notes below, while the first release of the 2000 vintage from Dom Pérignon (which has now spent more than nine years ageing off its lees) appears rounded and quite evolved, the second plenitude tastes younger, fresher, and generally livelier and a touch more chalky and dry too. This is because it has spent an extra nine years ageing on the lees – a process that slows down ageing – but also because it has a lower dosage: 4 g/l compared to 7 g/l for the first release.

Dom Pérignon P1 2000
Disgorged: end of 2007
Dosage: 7 g/l
RRP: £170 approx

This is the initial release of the 2000 harvest, which was unveiled in April 2008, having been disgorged around four months earlier, when it was given a dosage of 7 g/l. Tasted this morning (6.04.17), it has spent more than nine years ageing off the lees on cork, and almost seven years ageing on them (when it was sealed with a crown cap).

The nose is inviting, combining aromas of roasted creamy coffee, honey, orange peel and a smoky, charcoal-like character – a Champagne that seems quite evolved. Despite the aged aromas on the nose, the palate appears more youthful, with some fresh fruit, a touch of raspberry, along with a gently honeyed, rounded core, and a cappuccino flavour. The finish is still lively with a chalky texture, and slightly bitter citrus zest lift.

Dom Pérignon P2 2000
Disgorged: May of 2016
Dosage: 4 g/l

Amazing nose of vanilla cream, coffee, toast, ash and grilled nuts. In the mouth it is very alive, taught and energetic with a mouth-filling mousse and flavours of lime, wood smoke and a slightly salty seaweed-like note, along with underlying ripeness – there’s even a touch of pineapple. The finish is firm, fresh and persistent, with a cleansing chalky sensation and taste.

Generally, the first plénitude, Dom Pérignon vintage, is revealed after at least eight years in the cellars, depending on the vintage, and the second plénitude is the result of at least 16 years of maturation.

Then, eventually, there is a third plénitude, after around 30 years, when the Champagne has spent no less than 20 years on its lees.
Read More at https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2017/04/dom-perignon-launches-p2-from-2000-vintage/

 

2000 Dom Perignon P2 Plenitude Brut Champagne 
Price: $425.00    Sale $374.00

98/99/00 Dom Perignon P2 Plenitude Brut Champagne (3pk)
Price: $1275.00  Sale $1122.00

 

Dom Perignon Rose
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Dom Pérignon Rosé is a tribute to Pinot Noir. To work with Pinot Noir continually requires excellence and humility. In that regard, Dom Pérignon Rosé is a paradox to the point of contradiction as it is the perfect balance of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Although it took over ten years to reach the light of day, the color of Dom Pérignon Rosé dares to express all the tension between youth and maturity, between exhibition and restraint.
Dom Pérignon Rosé keeps the Pinot Noir promise by making it sing out loud, on a clear, vibrant and fragile note.

2005 Dom Perignon Rose Brut Champagne
Price: $446.25    Sale $392.70

Dom Perignon P3 Plenitude

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1971 Dom Perignon P3 Plenitude Brut Champagne
Price: $2985.00  Sale $2626.80

1975 Dom Perignon P3 Plenitude Brut Champagne
Price: $2750.00  Sale $2420.00

1988 Dom Perignon P3 Plenitude Brut Champagne Rose Magnum
Price: $3736.50  Sale $3288.12