Dom Perignon 2002 – The Launch of a Champagne Legend

Dom Perignon 2002

Mondays can be a struggle for some, slowly adjusting to the new week after a relaxing weekend, and planning for the long week ahead.  So what better way to overcome those Monday blues than with the arrival of Richard Bampfield MW and the team from Moet Hennessy UK to introduce the newest releases from Dom Perignon at Bibendum HQ?

The focus of the tasting was to showcase Dom Perignon’s newest release, the 2002.  This vintage from Dom Perignon carries with it some serious hype and excitement, recently receiving 20/20 from Jancis Robinson, and praised on the evening by Richard Bampfield, who said “there has never been so much excitement surrounding a vintage since the 1996?.  This gives you an idea to the quality of the wine and Richard firmly believes this vintage is a true expression of what Dom Perignon is all about, saying it “reflects one of the finest of years and provides a true example of how delicate a Champagne really can be.”

So on to the wines…

Dom Perignon 2002

Starting with the 2002, you got a sense of the passion Richard has for Champagne and Dom Perignon, speaking with a sense of excitement alongside great knowledge on the region.  Richard is a firm believer in the 2002 as a much more expressive wine than previous vintages, with characteristics and flavour not seen since the legendary 1996.  Containing more Chardonnay than Pinot Noir (the balance is usually somewhere nearer 50/50), the wine has real elegance and finesse, with great length for a Champagne still in its infancy and still firmly in the developing stages.  This really is a stunning wine, with an amazingly silky smooth mouth feel, well integrated fine bubbles and a wonderfully long finish. A Champagne legend in the making!


Dom Perignon Rosé 2000

Dom Perignon have been producing rosé Champagne since 1959, so they know a thing or two about producing these exclusive wines. The 2000 Rosé is made by blending red and white juice, with a split of 50% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir vinified white and finally 20% red Pinot Noir. The latter gives complexity and body, but this figure is low enough to leave no tannin on the palate. Following its maturation in the cellars of Epernay for 8 years, and a further period of bottle age over the last few years, the 2000 Rosé is now drinking extremely well.  Richard asked us to ignore the bubbles and concentrate on the underlying structure and depth, noting that this wine is not just another frivolous rosé but has the depth and balance to match any so called ‘fine wine’. Robert Parker described the wine in a similar fashion, “this superb wine is not to be missed, but readers should note this is no easy-going rosé, rather it is a Champagne that demands serious attention…but the wine is simply marvellous.”

Dom Perignon Oenotheque 1996

The Oenotheque wines represent the unique world of Dom Perignon, magnifying the character and heritage of the property, as they release elements of the wine library after long periods on their lees.   Oenotheque wines have been created from only a select few vintages through the 1960's, 70's, 80's and 90's. The wines are generally released after around 12 – 15 years in bottle, when the wine begins to show classic, secondary characteristics and aromas.  Have a look at the video below as Dom Perignon’s Chef de Cave Richard Geoffroy describes the thinking behind the Oenotheque wines.

The 1996 Oenotheque is a wine of high intensity and rich flavour, with an extremely long finish and grip. This is a powerful wine, but like all Dom Perignon Champagnes has a finesse that distinguishes it from other top Champagne producers.  Richard Bampfield described the 1996 as “very Burgundian; the palate and finish similar to a young Puligny-Montrachet without too much oak”, which indeed it was, with a subtle buttery, nutty characteristic on the palate.

Rob Pickard
30th September 2010

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