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 bouquet is complex and warm. A surprising floral fruitiness with a hint of greenery is followed by every shade of brown and a very dark gray - they breathe and open up on notes of tobacco, wood, mocha and cocoa.
The true signature of the wine - far more than volume or balance - is its invigorating, juvenile precision. Its richness is contained, as if it were being channeled. The finish is perfectly coherent: penetrating, tactile, sappy and toasted, with a touch of aniseed.
The 1985 harvest:
The year was marked by two unusually cold periods, in January and April, when frost destroyed about 10 percent of the vineyard.
How To Serve:
CHILLED AT 5°C - 10°C
When Father Pierre Perignon took over as cellar master at the Benedictine Abbey of Hautvillers in 1668, his avowed goal was "to make the best wine in the world". For a young monk just 30 years old, it took a visionary spirit and exceptional audacity to pursue such lofty ambitions. An exact contemporary of Louis XIV, Dom Pérignon transformed the history of wine, just as the Sun King revolutionized the very notion of "art de vivre". Wine was the medium for their meeting, as the excellence of "Father Perignon's wine" earned it a place at the king's table.
More than three centuries later, the House of Dom Perignon perpetuates the visionary approach of its founder, widely considered the spiritual father of Champagne. Released only as a vintage, Dom Perignon is cellar aged for at least seven years prior to release. This time is critical for harmonising the flavours and ensuring that the wine's balance remains elegant, sensual and ethereal. Dom Perignon can also be enjoyed many years later with rare OEnotheque vintages, released by the Chef de Cave at times when the intensity and complexity of the wine has reached optimum levels. Each new vintage is a unique creative act, reinventing the extraordinary style of a wine that only the Chef de Cave may declare a "vintage year".
"The grapes are never the same from one year to the next. If a harvest does not meet Dom Perignon's unyielding standards, there will be no vintage champagne that year. This isn't a value judgment - it's an aesthetic vision" says Dom Pérignon Chef de Cave Richard Geoffroy.
The unique personality of Dom Pérignon is born of this creative commitment. It is this tension between the distinctive qualities of a year and the timeless spirit that defines Dom Perignon, an unparalleled sensation that imparts weightlessness, airy richness and suppleness from first impression to the long-lasting finish.
In keeping with Dom Perignon's expressed ambition in 1668 to create "the best wine in the world", Dom Perignon Oenotheque represents the supreme homage to this vision.
Once the Dom Perignon style has been achieved after seven years and the vintage released, a limited number of bottles are set aside to begin a second period of aging. Six additional years - for a total of no few than thirteen years in the cellar are required to take the wine to another destination : Dom Perignon OEnotheque. The bottles are manually disgorged, liquored and recorked. Each bottle is tasted and approved by a Dom Perignon oenologist, who ensures its excellence before it leaves the cellar.
Dom Perignon: the best wine in the world.