The 2000 Dom Perignon is a gorgeous, seductive wine that floats on the palate with remarkable grace. Toasty aromas meld into freshly cut flowers, apricots and pears, with sweet notes of mint and licorice that linger on the long finish. This perfumed, inviting Dom Perignon is elegance personified, and in this vintage the wine fully merits its lofty reputation.
Fresh, crystalline, and sharp, the first nose unveils an unusual dimension, an aquatic vegetal world with secret touches of white pepper and gardenia. The wine reveals a light, gentle maturity before exhaling peaty scents. On the palate, the attack bursts forth, before maturing into a sensual fullness that winds around itself, like a tendril of foliage. Notes of liquorice and dried ginger linger on the skin of fruit (pear and mango), more textured than ripe. The finish gradually unfurls and then settles, smooth, mellow, all-encompassing. An indefinable je ne sais quoi, never upsetting the integrity of the wine, has worked its charm.
Moët Chandon has been producing the world's most loved champagne since the house was founded in 1743 by Claude Moët (pronounced mow-ETT). The house now owns some 1500 acres and produces over 2 million cases of champagne. It was the first champagne house to list on the stock market and also holds the royal warrant in Britain to supply the Queen. Their best-known label, Dom Pérignon, is so named after the legendary Benedictine monk who is said to be the "father of champagne".
Champagne, the world's greatest sparkling wine, needs little introduction - with imitations produced in virtually every country capable of growing grapes, including such unlikely candidates as India and China. The Champagne region, to the north of Paris, has the most northerly vineyards in France, with vines grown on slopes with a southerly exposure to maximise sunlight. The soil is chalky, providing an excellent balance of drainage and water retention. The key to the wine is in the cellar - the bubbles result from a second fermentation in the bottle and the rich toasty flavours in great Champagne come from extended bottle ageing on the yeasty lees. Until the eighteenth century, the wines produced in the Champagne area were light acidic white wines, with no hint of sparkle. However glass and closure technology developed at that time and it was not long before Dom Perignon, a Benedictine monk at the Abbey of Hautvilliers, started experimenting with blends and produced the first recognisable champagne. In a world accustomed to still wines, the advent of champagne was almost a flop. It was saved when it became fashionable at the French court as a result of Louis XV's mistress Madame de Pompadour commenting "Champagne isthe only wine that lets a woman remain beautiful after she has drunk it." And the rest is history, with famous (or infamous) champagne lovers including Casanova, Dumas, Wagner, Winston Churchill, James Bond and Coco Chanel.