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Dom Perignon 1996 Champagne 75cl
|Dom Perignon 1996 - 75cl||Dom Perignon 1996 - 75cl||£594.95
Today, that legacy lives on. Produced in amazing volumes yet retaining its sheer class, Moët & Chandon's prestige cuvée is so distinguishable, the two brands are best considered autonomous. Based on a core of Grand Cru villages and the oldest vines of the Premier Cru of Hautvillers, 'The Dom' is a wine of tension, power and long-ageing endurance and has been the vision of talented Chef de Cave, Richard Geoffroy, for over two and a half decades. Geoffroy's unique winemaking philosophy is to allow the personality of each vintage to express itself and compliment it with the famous House style, rather than simply re-creating an identical blend each year.
Cellar Master: Richard Geoffroy
Winery Location: Épernay | Champagne, France
Champagne Region: Côte des Blancs
Annual Production (bottles): Undisclosed
Weather: The 1996 vintage was a standout year: one of, if not the, best of the last twenty. A warm beginning to June followed by a cooler end provided favourable growing conditions and the weather fluctuation resulted in staggered flowering of the Chardonnay grapes. September was sunny but mild with light scattered showers creating incredible grape maturation with high sugar and acidity levels. This unique sugar/acidity balance combined with small, concentrated berries revealed an aromatic depth rarely seen in Champagne
Vineyards: 100% Grand & Premier Cru
Grape Varieties: 60% Pinot Noir | 40% Chardonnay
Ageing: 7 years on the lees
Dosage: 4 g/l
Drink: Now to 2027
Tasting Note: A deep golden colour with tiny bubbles, the palate is full of lemon and citrus with a deep mineral undertone. Apples and pears on the mid palate with a spicy finish. A wonderfully balanced champagne with plenty more to give.
A little severe but there is so much more buried in there than in the Moët 1996.”
Vintage Overviews Grand & Premier Crus Explained
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Dom Perignon History
Uniquely available just as a vintage champagne and produced only in exceptional years, 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 Dom Pérignon’s historic birthplace, where 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 forty-seven years.
Dom Pierre Pérignon, one of the Benedictine Monks, was appointed Cellar Master and charged with improving the quality of their wine. At this time, most wines were red but with Champagne being so northerly, it wasn’t really warm enough for red wine production. This cooler region of France saw later harvests and so the wines often hadn’t finished fermentation before the cold winter set in. Spring then came, warmed up the bottles and the fermentation started again - this time in the bottles, which often exploded and the fizz was seen as an imperfection. Dom Pierre Pérignon tried hard to improve a number of vineyard practices and grape pressing techniques and even brought in stronger glass from England, producing cleaner white wines with a light fizz (sealed with a cork and 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 1800s that this process was perfected closer to what we call champagne today, but much of the practices still used in champagne production 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, a 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 each year the Chef de Cave reinvents the house style with different grapes, creating a unique champagne: 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 – Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – which are taken from the very best vineyards in Champagne.
The champagnes 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.
Current 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 characterises the champagnes: an alliance of complexity and intensity. Slow maturation means that each vintage has wonderful ageing potential and can be presented in three Plénitudes.