The best second release Dom Pérignon there is - exceptional champagne, rich fruits & still so young
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Uniquely only available as a vintage Champagne produced in exceptional years from just two grape varieties, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Dom Pérignon is an iconic wine with an unrivalled heritage.
Nestled in the heart of Champagne on a hillside overlooking the Marne Valley, the Abbey of Hautvillers is the House of Dom Pérignon's historic birthplace. It was founded in around 650 by Saint Nivard, the Archbishop of Reims. It was destroyed and rebuilt on several occasions, but finally rose from its ashes in the 16th century with the help of Catherine de Médicis. It was in this exceptional place that Dom Pérignon pursued his ambition to create the "best wine in the world" for 47 years.
Dom Pierre Pérignon one of the Benedictine Monks, was appointed cellar master and charged with improving the quality of their wine, at a time when most wines of the time were red and Champagne being so northerly, it wasn't really warm enough for red wine production.
At the time this cooler area of France saw later harvests and so the wines often hadn't finished fermentation before the cold winter set in. So this meant the wines which needed bottling to prevent spoiling often still had sweetness. Spring came and warmed up the bottles and the fermentation started again in bottle, often bottles exploded and the fizz was seen as an imperfection. Dom Pierre Pérignon at the time tried hard to improve a number of vineyard practices, grape pressing techniques and brought in stronger glass from England and by default produced cleaner white wines with a light fizz, sealed with a cork, firmly tied down! The Abbey at Hautvillers became an important supplier of wine to events at Reims Cathedral and to the Royal Household.
It was nearly 100 years later in the early 1800 before this process was perfected closer to what we see today and know as Champagne, but much of the practices we see today in making Champagne trace their origins back to Dom Pierre Pérignon's time at the Abbey. In recognition of his work when Dom Pierre Pérignon died in 1715 he was granted special rights to be buried in the abbey, space normally reserved for the Abbots.
The philosophy, vision and spirit of Dom Pérignon are incarnated in his Manifesto, a document which explains the ten basic principles guiding winemaking at the House. Dom Pérignon can only be a vintage and blended. Each year, the Chef de Cave reinvents the House style with different grapes, creating a unique vintage, a perfect balance between the expression of Dom Pérignon and the expression of the vintage itself. It is made using a subtle blend of two grape varieties - Pinot Noir and Chardonnay - which are taken from the very best vineyards in Champagne.
The wines owe their complexity to the slow ripening of the grapes, which conserves freshness while revealing new aromas and new textures with the passing of time. These aromas, which develop in the wines as they are protected from oxygen during the ageing process, guarantee exceptional cellaring potential and a characteristic minerality which is an aromatic signature of the House.
Chef de Cave Richard Geoffroy makes the decision each year as to whether or not the vintage will be declared: "If the fruit we have harvested doesn't satisfy the Dom Pérignon criteria, there will not be a vintage that year." This vision is tangible through the subtle balance that characterizes the House Champagnes: an alliance of complexity and intensity. Slow maturation means that each vintage has wonderful ageing potential and can be presented in three Plenitudes.