Dom Perignon Vintage (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2008
2008 was dominated by grey, overcast skies – an exception in a decade characterized by bold, generous sunshine. Just when the harvest was getting underway, the weather conditions were finally perfect: blue skies and prolonged north-northeasterly winds. The grapes were riper than anyone dared hope, and had truly outstanding balance. The vines were in perfect health.
To the bracing acidity, concision and aromatic purity expected of the 2008 vintage, Dom Pérignon adds depth, density and complexity. The light is warmer and less harsh.
The opening bouquet is complex and luminous, a mingling of white flowers, citrus and stone fruit. The overall effect is enhanced by the freshness of aniseed and crushed mint. The final aromas offered by the wine are starting to show spicy, woody and roasted notes.
After a long period of reluctance, the wine is finally opening up. There is complete balance between the nose and the palate. Its slender, minimalist, pure, toned, athletic character is now also expressed with warmth. The fruit is pronounced and clear. The vintage's characteristic acidity is remarkably well integrated. Its persistence is mainly aromatic, grey, smoky and highly promising.
The wine enjoys duality: warmth & freshness, meat & iodine pairings, cooked & raw. Spices enhance and accentuate 2008’s effervescence and densify the wine. Dom Pérignon likes playful experiences: culinary art, textures, and matters.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2008 Dom Pérignon continues to show very well, offering up a pretty bouquet of Anjou pear, fresh peach, citrus oil, fresh pastry, smoke and iodine. On the palate, it's full-bodied, lively and incisive, with an elegantly textural attack and a creamy core of fruit that's underpinned by a bright but nicely integrated spine of acidity. The finish is long, saline and well-defined. As I wrote earlier this year, this is the finest Dom Pérignon since 1996, Richard Geoffroy's push for additional ripeness working well with the late-maturing, high-acid vintage. While it can be appreciated young, the 2008 will really start to blossom with five or six years of bottle age. Rating 95+
Learn about Dom Perignon, the history of the famed Champagne brand, how it’s made, and its flagship Vintage Blanc, Vintage Rosé and P2 Plenitude.
History of Dom Perignon
Dom Pierre Perignon, a French Benedictine monk, set out his vision to "create the best wine in the world" when he became Cellar Master at the sacred Abbey of Hautvillers in 1668. Dom Perignon dedicated over 40 years to this mission, employing a visionary spirit and daring approach to the wine making process. Over that time, he became known as the ‘father of champagne’ for laying down the fundamental rules for the traditional Champagne production method (La Methode Champenoise or Traditionelle). A favored wine of the Sun King Louis XIV, Dom Perignon himself compared his wine to "drinking stars".
How Dom Perignon is Made
Dom Perignon Champagne 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 Dom Perignon is its absolute commitment to only producing vintage wines. Unlike many other Champagne houses, Dom Perignon does not produce a non-vintage Champagne. 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 Perignon himself.
Dom Perignon Flagship Bottles
The flagship of the House – the Vintage Blanc – is a perfect example of the intricacy of Dom Perignon Champagne, 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.
Dom Perignon Pronunciation
Associated with luxury, celebration, and romance, the region, Champagne, is home to the world’s most prized sparkling wine. In order to bear the label, ‘Champagne’, a sparkling wine must originate from this northeastern region of France—called Champagne—and adhere to strict quality standards. Made up of the three towns Reims, Épernay, and Aÿ, it was here that the traditional method of sparkling wine production was both invented and perfected, birthing a winemaking technique as well as a flavor profile that is now emulated worldwide.
Well-drained, limestone and chalky soil defines much of the region, which lend a mineral component to its wines. Champagne’s cold, continental climate promotes ample acidity in its grapes but weather differences from year to year can create significant variation between vintages. While vintage Champagnes are produced in exceptional years, non-vintage cuvées are produced annually from a blend of several years in order to produce Champagnes that maintain a consistent house style.
With nearly negligible exceptions, . These can be blended together or bottled as individual varietal Champagnes, depending on the final style of wine desired. Chardonnay, the only white variety, contributes freshness, elegance, lively acidity and notes of citrus, orchard fruit and white flowers. Pinot Noir and its relative Pinot Meunier, provide the backbone to many blends, adding structure, body and supple red fruit flavors. Wines with a large proportion of Pinot Meunier will be ready to drink earlier, while Pinot Noir contributes to longevity. Whether it is white or rosé, most Champagne is made from a blend of red and white grapes—and uniquely, rosé is often produce by blending together red and white wine. A Champagne made exclusively from Chardonnay will be labeled as ‘blanc de blancs,’ while ones comprised of only red grapes are called ‘blanc de noirs.’
Representing the topmost expression of a Champagne house, a vintage Champagne is one made from the produce of a single, superior harvest year. Vintage Champagnes account for a mere 5% of total Champagne production and are produced about three times in a decade. Champagne is typically made as a blend of multiple years in order to preserve the house style; these will have non-vintage, or simply, NV on the label. The term, "vintage," as it applies to all wine, simply means a single harvest year.