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Average Review Score: 4.9
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Average Review Score: 4.9
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Dom Perignon Oenotheque 1996

Mix 12
£662.00
Mix 6
£664.00
Per Bottle
£668.00
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Available Sun 25th Feb Same Day, cost based on mileage from Islington
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Next Working Day from £8 Available Tue 27th Feb
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Description & Technical Information
-
Dom Pérignon is only available as a vintage champagne and is only produced in exceptional years. Each vintage is a creation, singular and unique, that expresses both the character of the year, and the character of Dom Pérignon. After at least eight years of lees ageing in the cellars, the wine enters its first phase of interest, Plenitude 1, showing quite youthful fruit and broad texture from the lees contact. The signature Dom Pérignon aromatic is that "hint smoky" character a result of the reductive winemaking where they go to extreme lengths to keep each step of the winemaking process free of oxygen. With every sip of Dom Perignon you always have that purity of fruit character, depending on the vintage you normally see the Pinot Noir fruit dominate, which are those red fruits like raspberry, peach and dark cherry. The Chardonnay adds a supporting layer of chalky texture and delicious fruit in the yellow spectrum like plum, apple and tropical notes of pineapple.

The Plénitude (originally Oenothèque) concept has been years in development at Dom Pérignon. After studying the natural course of ageing that vintage champagne seems to undertake, the winemaking team found that, rather than improving steadily and linearly (as is the case with many wines), it develops and matures through three defined stages in its life.

The first release (P1) comes approximately 8 years after the harvest and is the style that most consumers are familiar with. The second stage (P2) takes roughly 15 years, during which time the cuvée takes a profound leap to a new quality level where it will plateau for many years in terms of improvement. Finally, the third Plénitude (P3) will see the champagne ageing another 20-30 years until it reaches its ultimate peak. Initially these mature vintages were made available under limited release called “Oenothèque” but were re-branded in 2014 as “Plénitude”. Read more about the Plénitude concept here.

Weather: The 1996 season was full of contrasts with an unpredictable summer, but remains famous as a high-sugar, high-acid champagne vintage. In the months before picking, the spells of hot weather and the influence of north-easterly winds contributed to the initial maturity of the grapes. Initially lauded as the best since 1990 (maybe better!), it is undergoing a slight re-appraisal at the moment, as with some of the white Burgundies. High acidity and a tendency to oxidise appear peculiar bed-fellows, but the phenomenon has been noted with one or two champagnes.

Technical Information:
Vineyards: 100% Grand & Premier Cru
Grape Varieties: 50% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir
Ageing: 15 years on the lees
Disgorged: 2008
Dosage: 6 g/l
Drink: Now to 2030

Tasting Note: A pale colour with an immediately apparent complexity on the bouquet. Dense yet wonderfully racy, this shows amazing freshness and depth of fruit. Full-bodied without the high-acid profile of the vintage, the flavours evoke citrus and smoke. This Oenothèque 1996, enjoying what Richard Geoffroy describes as its 'second plénitude' of development, is now taking on a biscuity, honied richness, with hints of tropic fruit, figs and hazelnut adding suitable complexity. One of the very best.
Champagne Dom Perignon Overview
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Expert Reviews
18+/20
Jancis Robinson MW
“50% Pinot Noir, 50% Chardonnay. Disgorged April 2013.
Deeper straw than the regular 1996 vintage Dom P. Much more expressive on the nose, although with lots of evidence of age. Complete and fresh on the palate – much more youthful than the regular 1996. For perfection I’d choose the nose of this and the palate of the regular! Masses of acidity still in evidence. Exuberant, creamy wine with no hurry to drink it. 12%
Drink 2016-2030”
18/20
Jancis Robinson MW
“This bottle seemed to have broadened out and to taste almost rich - although admittedly it had spent a year or two in slightly warm storage conditions. Some crème patissière quality though with lots of acidity too. Even a hint of marzipan. To drink rather than hold, I think.”
97/100
Antonio Galloni
“The 1996 Dom Pérignon Oenothèque has really turned a corner over the last six months or so. When it was originally introduced the 1996 was hard as nails, today it is an exquisite Champagne that captures the essential brightness and energy of the year. Lemon, slate, oyster shells and white flowers stain the palate in an intense, beautifully sculpted Champagne of the highest level.”
19.5/20
Jancis Robinson MW
“Deluxe Brut Blend. 50% Pinot Noir, 50% Chardonnay. The densest wine we tasted at this presentation of World Champions. So dense it's almost rigid! Yet it is wonderfully racy. Beautiful balance, very vibrant and reverberant with the most extraordinary persistence. Lovely lacy texture. Bravo! Dosage was apparently 6.5 g/l.”
97/100
Essi Avellan MW
“Superbly toasty, highly expressive nose packed with sweet gunpowder, aromatic wood, ginger and mineral notes. Long and linear structure coming with super high, perfectly lined acidity. Lean, zesty and expansive. Highly youthful still, full of unreleased energy. Constantly improving. At CSWWC we awarded it as the World Champion Deluxe brut. I have come across several corked bottles, which makes me recommend this less whole-heartedly as I would based on a perfect bottle.”
97/100
Antonio Galloni
“The 1996 Dom Pérignon Oenothèque has really come around since I last tasted it some months ago. Up until recently, the 1996 was hard as nails. Over the last few months things have developed for the better, as the fruit is now much more expressive, within the context of the year, of course. The 1996 Oenothèque remains compact, but today there is great beauty to be found in the yellow stone fruit, slate, white flowers and lightly honeyed overtones that grace the finish.”
100/100
James Suckling
“This shows amazing freshness and depth of fruit while remaining agile and very clean. Full body, dense and layered on the palate. Goes on for minutes with each sip. Lots of mineral and chalk character too. A fabulous Champagne. A blend of half Pinot Noir and half Chardonnay.”
97/100
Antonio Galloni
“The 1996 Dom Pérignon Œenothèque offers up layers of pastry, lemon, smoke and toastiness. At first deceptively understated, the wine turns positively explosive and layered on the palate, showing remarkable tension, elegance and power, all wrapped around a seriously intense frame. The balance between fruit and acidity is awesome. This is a marvelous DP Œeno. The Œeno is the same juice as the regular Dom Pérignon, except the Œeno is aged on the cork while the regular DP is aged in crown-sealed bottles. Once disgorged, the Œenos get a slightly lower dosage than is typical for the original release DP. This bottle was disgorged in 2008.”
96/100
Bruce Sanderson
“Its complexity was immediately apparent on the bouquet, offering butterscotch, toast and mineral elements. An extremely well-balanced ’96, without the high-acid profile of the vintage, the flavours evoked candied citrus, seashore and smoke, reminding me of a great Corton-Charlemagne”
99/100
Roger Voss
“A magnificent Champagne, one that is light, delicate, yet packed with character. It is beautifully balanced, with a bone-dry character, just softened by the toastiness that is developing. Expect this to age for many years”
See All Reviews
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News Articles
  1. Mr Dom Pérignon's Life in Bottles

    Mr Dom Pérignon's Life in Bottles

    December 13, 2018

    Read Jancis Robinson's review of our recent Dom Pérignon Retrospective tasting - including scores, tasting notes and a league table of all 23 champagnes tasted, spanning 1990-2009. Full article on JancisRobinson.com.
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