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On the palate, the wine instantly traces an astoundingly fine line between density and weightlessness. Its precision is extreme, tactile, dark and chiselled. The full taste lingers with the utmost elegance on a sappy, spicy note.
Little has changed since last year, except I have tasted – indeed drunk – it several times, and enjoyed its message more and more. It still sends shivers up my spine, shimmering in its purity and intensity, lemon citrus the first and last flavours, with nectarine, pear and spice on the mid-palate. For the record, it is 52% pinot noir and 48% chardonnay, and if properly cellared, has a 20-year life ahead. There will be late-disgorged releases over that period at far higher prices.
One of the stars in this tasting, the 2004 Dom Pérignon is starting to express the potential it hinted at as a young wine. Specifically, the 2004 has gained quite a bit of volume and overall depth within the last few years. The first signs of aromatic nuance are starting to develop, which suggests the 2004 will soon enter its first plateau of maturity.
Yet another masterpiece created by Richard Geoffroy. Unmistakable Dom Perignon style with unparalleled silkiness throughout the palate. The mousse is worthy of its own chapter and the elegance is striking. Nice minerality and floral notes with citrus overtones. Slightly short now, but time will fill in the small gaps in the beginning of life. This time it tasted intensely toasty and fairly close to the 1983 when I tasted the vintage for the first time at the same age as the 2004 is now.
With all the lush plenitude of the 2004 vintage, this wine's explosive flavors give it a bold, broad, layered impression on the palate. But the tight structure and edgy tension of the acidity reins it in, capturing the wine's aromatic power and extending it into graceful length. This is a precise and sophisticated Champagne suited to the cellar.
A graceful Champagne, with minerally drive. Firm acidity and a rich vein of smoky mineral meshes with the plush texture, offering finely woven flavors of mirabelle jam, toasted brioche, crunchy pear, honey and smoked almond. Delivers a long, mouthwatering finish. Drink now through 2029.
Lily-of-the-valley perfume and scents of lightly toasted brioche and almond rise from the glass of Moet’s 2004 Brut Dom Perignon, along with hints of the apricot, pear and grapefruit that then inform a luscious and creamy yet strikingly delicate as well as consummately refreshing palate. Sweet-saline savor of scallop – also already intimated in the nose – lends compulsive saliva-inducement to a ravishingly rarified and persistent finish, joined by alkaline, nutty, liquid-floral, and nori seaweed notes for a performance of head-scratching subtlety and intrigue. (In case my description hasn’t already made clear, we have here inter alia a fantastic sushi wine.) This will be worth following for at least the next 6-8 years, in the course of demonstrating that iconic status as a luxury brand, and elevated (albeit secret) production numbers by no means preclude a wine of understated as well as profound beauty.
Dom Perignon is made through an assemblage of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, created by using only the best grapes harvested from the 17 Grands Crus in Champagne and the Premier Cru of Hautvillers. One of the principle hallmarks of this House is its absolute commitment in only releasing in a vintage year. This commitment to vintage only requires Dom Perignon to reinvent itself every year, staying true to the daring and creative principles laid down by the Dom Pierre Pérignon himself. Today, this vision is led by Richard Geoffroy, Dom Pérignon’s Chef de Cave.
The flagship of the House – the Vintage Blanc – is a perfect example of the intricacy of Dom Perignon, expressing the perfect harmony and savoir-faire of the wine making process, while the other key pillars; Vintage Rose and P2 Blanc both bring their own different and exciting elements to be explored.
The Napa Valley and Cabernet Sauvignon are so intrinsically linked that it is difficult to discuss one without thinking of the other. Although Cabernet has many important outposts throughout the wine world, nowhere else has it achieved such success (and, at the highest end, commanded such lofty prices) than in Napa. Here, it is responsible for bold, opulent, and dark-fruited wines with grippy tannins and a healthy dose of alcohol. The best examples can age for decades. Each of Napa’s smaller sub-AVAs imparts a different character to Cabernet, such as Rutherford’s famous dust or Stags Leap District's tart cherry flavors.