Two flights of Dom Perignon

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September 24th 2014

As promised, here are the notes from Georgina’s 2013 trip to Dom Perignon: two flights,blanc and rosé. Required reading for serious Champagne lovers.

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The great man himself!

2005 vintage: not yet released, but we were told it is going to be a year of selection and one of the biggest vintages they have seen.

2004 vintage: 52% Pinot Noir, 48% Chardonnay, known as the “˜dark revelation’. Very elegant, has finesse, taught and racy, very mineral. Toasted almonds, hints of flower petals mixed with citrus notes, limestone and oyster shells. Strict on the palate, glimpses of the nose echoed on the complex, but mineral back palate. Very drinkable now, but will age gracefully. Spice and toast with fresh concentration and a long racy mineral finish. Charming, and utterly delicious. Drinking now and very age-worthy. According to Vincent the vintage and style is comparable to 1970 which we tasted at dinner after the 2004.

2003 vintage: Rich and brooding. Smoke, powerful depth of fruit, deeper style than the 04, less strict and mineral. The 03 possesses broad structure, richness and flamboyance. However, it is in no way fat or flabby and still retains poise. Hints of tropical fruit, very well integrated and balanced. The unique style of the 03 vintage shows great character. Long and dry on finish. This is the vintage that shows DP’s risk-taking. One of the earliest harvested on record, 1822, 2003, 2007 and 2011 were all harvested in August and have a higher percentage of Pinot Noir. It will not be everyone’s style, but I really enjoyed its individuality. I also feel this will age still further.

1996 Oenotheque – Disgorged 2003: Charming and very inviting with floral and citrus hints on the nose. Palate somewhat richer, smoke, fresh coffee and strong mineral notes intermingled with white pepper, brioche, pastry and vanilla, giving a wonderful creamy roundness. Great length, very intense, balanced acidity. Seductive. This vintage was a great commercial success, but not a wine makers’ vintage whereas 2002 was – hard selection and work was needed.

1970 Oenotheque – Disgorged 2006: creamy complexity, broad and rich. If this were a wine it would be a mix of Riesling and Puligny Montrachet. The salty, oiliness of a Riesling with its lively acidity and the stony, citrus, raciness of a Puligny. Notes of herbs, mint, toasted brioche, white chocolate, orange flowers, vanilla and praline. Savoury, but elegant. The complexity and freshness of this “˜wine’ is breath-taking. Bright and well balanced, with a haunting finish. Outstanding. Enjoyed this at dinner after the 2004 vintage, they feel this is a similar vintage to 04.

1971 Oenotheque En Magnum: Elegance and brooding power combined. Butterscotch, praline, toasted brioche and spice, giving layered depth and complexity. The 71 Oenotheque is rich opulence. If I compare it to a wine it would be much more of a Meursault/Montrachet in style than the Puligny/riesling racey styled 1970.It Has more weight, but at the same time retains its freshness. It is quiet explosive in power, with fine bubbles that ooze class. Still showing tension and has a wonderful bright colour. The flavour in the finish is deliciously long and moorish. Sublime.

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Cool, dark underground tunnels: perfect for secondary fermentation.

Rosé Flight: Made predominately with Pinot Noir grapes from Ay and Bouzy, which get the most maturity by being blessed with mostly south-facing sites.

2003 Rosé: Dark red forest fruits, blackberry, dark morrello cherry, with hints of strawberry coulis. Broad structure and masculine power. Quite brooding with dark deep phenolic’s, lots of fruit and mineral complexity, seductive flavours. Drinking now. Similar to 1978 vintage.

2002 Rosé: Stark contrast of personality here to the 2003. Very lively and playful, scented roses and spring flowers. Still quite tight and youthful. Palate full bodied in style and very intense hints of pretty red fruits going through to darker mineral structure. Elegant, bright and racy; beautiful. Very good indeed, very pretty and inviting to drink now, however I think given time this will flesh out and be outstanding!

1993 Enotheque Rosé: A very elegant fine nose, touches and hints of dried Rose, hoi-sin sauce, soy, cinnamon, tea. Very beautiful. Palate very elegant, delicate notes of fruit intermingled with mineral and limestone. This wine still has power, but the balance of structure, fruit and acidity are so harmonious, it floats effortlessly.

1992 Enotheque Rosé: This nose reminds me of a whisky, very distinctive. Sandalwood, peat, iodine, and smoke, leading in to a herbaceous forest floor and dried oyster mushroom. Palate has all components of the nose and remains dark, deep and smokey. But once again there is freshness. Very individual in style, quite challenging for me.

1985 Enotheque Rosé En Magnum Disgorged 2010: Fig, ground coffee, compote of red fruits. Notes of hoi-sin sauce, sweet alpine strawberry along with oyster mushroom notes. Again toasted brioche notes and minerals. Very lively, fresh long finish. 1985 had exceptional weather condition. Quite Delicious. Really enjoyed this.

1982 Enotheque En Magnum: prune, fig, rich mature fruits, coco, vanilla, rich nutty fruit cake on the front palate, this leads to brighter and prettier fruit on the back palate. Broad but elegant structure, amazing focus with a lovely savory edge. Vibrant with integrated acidity, very harmonious with a silky mouth-feel. Outstanding!