Dom Perignon 1998
Vintage from Champagne, France
Pale yellow with golden highlights. On the nose, the initial notes of fresh almond and grapefruit gradually lead into cashew nut and spices complemented by lightly toasted brioche. On the palate, texture unfurls on the palate, embracing and caressing it. Momentary weightlessness with a vibrating finish arouses the taste buds with controlled ardor. The persistence is remarkable, with the slightest undertone of tartness (citrus zest and buds.)
The Dom Pérignon Vintage 1998 has a special way of holding its final note on and on. It's as if it doesn't want to let go. It's surprising, unique and magnicent.
Wine Enthusiast - "This is a wine that thrives on tension between its structure, opulence, elegance and poise. It is certainly ripe and opulent, but it is so well balanced and layered with acidity, and flavors of almonds, orange peel and kiwi fruits. It will certainly age."
Wine & Spirits - "This young wine has a potent mousse and equally brisk acidity. Its flavors are bright white, from chalk to fresh cream; they take some time to meld with the vibrant structure, coming together with air, lithe and refined. Richness develops in scents of brioche, mouthwatering with a fat Belon oyster, built to age."
International Wine Cellar - "Pale yellow. An enticing blend of red berries, butter and toast on the nose; this settled down to an earthy, smoky character that reminded me of Batard-Montrachet. Full and rich, with flavors of musky yellow plum and ripe pear accented by crisp mineral notes. Really long and vibrant on the building finish, if not as precise or elegant as the 1996. Still, of the two vintages, this is the one I would prefer to drink over the next five or years or so."
The Wine Advocate - "The 1998 Dom Perignon comes across as somewhat two–dimensional and lacking the sheer cut of the 2000. There is plenty of ripeness in the fruit, but not quite the definition and verve of the finest vintages. This looks to be a relatively early-drinking Dom Perignon. Geoffroy adds that the estate may have waited a bit too long to pick certain parcels in 1998."
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Dom Perignon Winery
Dom Pérignon, a seventeeth-century cellarmaster of the Abbey of Hautvillers, is revered as the spiritual father of winemaking in the Champagne region. Keen observation, respect for nature, pragmatic creativity, technical innovation, the courage of his convictions, and patience were the instruments serving his vision. He constantly mastered and incorporated all its components and the stages of its production, from the vineyards themselves to the pressing and clarification of the wines and their preservation.
Dom Pérignon was the originator of new techniques for cultivating vines and making wine. These innovations spread rapidly throughout the region.
Today, Dom Pérignon is produced by France's largest Champagne house, Moët et Chandon. Dom Pérignon’s principle contribution in the 20th century has been its commitment to vintage years. In addition to the exclusive use of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes from only the finest growths and vineyards, Dom Pérignon strictly limits itself to wines of the very best years, which have undergone long ageing.
The Dom Pérignon style is constructed by the Chef de Cave to create a range of sensations on the palate that reflect all the complexity of the structure, and the aromas and characteristics of the vintage. View all Dom Perignon Wines
About ChampagneView a map of Champagne wineries Champagne is both a region and a method. The wines come from the northernmost vineyards in France and the name conjures an image like no other can. An 18th Century Benedictine monk named Dom Perignon is said to be the first to blend both varietals and vintages, making good wines not only great, but also special and unique to their winemaker. Today, nearly 75% of Champagne produced is non-vintage and made up by a blend of several years' harvests.
All Champagnes must be made by a strictly controlled process called "Méthode Champenoise." The grapes are pressed and fermented for the first time. The blending phase follows and the wine is bottled and temporarily capped. Then comes the second fermentation, a blend of sugar and yeast is added and, this time, the carbon dioxide is kept inside the bottle. This process leaves a great deal of sediment that is extracted through a process of "racking" or "riddling." The bottles are progressively turned upside down until all the sediment is collected in the neck. The necks are then frozen and the sediment is "disgorged." After this phase, the winemaker may decide to add sugar to sweeten the wine. Finally the wine is corked. Some wines move through this process in a couple of months, while others are aged after the riddling phase to build greater complexity and depth.
Champagnes range from dry, "Brut," to slightly sweet, "Demi-Sec." Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes are used in Champagne blends, but "Blancs de Noirs" is made entirely of Pinot Noir and "Blancs de Blanc" is made from only Chardonnay grapes. The high acidity achieved by the northern location is crucial to the balance and structure of these wines.
Not every year is a "vintage" declared. In years when it is not, the wines are blended with the produce from other years to create the non-vintage blend, the house style that remains constant from year to year. But in a great vintage year, champagne houses will bottle by itself the unblended year's produce, and use other portions as "reserve" wines to supplement and enrich the non-vintage blend. A vintage champagne can age quite gracefully, and gain complexity just like any other great still wine.
Mild cheeses like gruyere and shellfish pair nicely with Champagne. Also, oysters and Champagne is a popular combination. A full-flavored vintage Champagne can go with almost any meal.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.
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