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.
Straw yellow with golden highlights. As the wine breathes it reveals its strength. The first burst of brioche and ripe wheat evolves into a complex bouquet that is sombre and shadowed, mineral, smoky with a hint of roasting coffee.
The attack is sharp and pronounced, the prelude to an unusual breadth. The full tale is revealed, unfolds and glides across the palate as if powered by the incisive finish that continues to characterise this vintage.
The 1988 harvest:
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.
Picking began on 26 September for the Chardonnay, and on 27 September for the Pinot Noir.
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.