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 is a brand of vintage Champagne produced by the Champagne house Moët & Chandon and serves as that house's prestige champagne. It is named after Dom Pérignon, a Benedictine monk who was an important quality pioneer for Champagne wine but who, contrary to popular myths, did not discover the champagne method for making sparkling wines. He was the first to blend grapes in such a way as to improve the quality of wines and deal with a number of their imperfections, in 1670. He also introduced corks, which were fastened to bottles with hemp string soaked in oil in order to keep the wines fresh and sparkling, and used thicker glass in order to strengthen the bottles (which were prone to explode at that time). The development of sparkling wines as the main style of production in Champagne occurred progressively in the 19th century, over one century after Dom Pérignon's death.
Dom Pérignon was the first prestige cuvée Champagne introduced, an idea proposed by Englishman Laurence Venn. The first vintage of Dom Pérignon was 1921 and was only released for sale in 1936. A vintage champagne is used to describe one that is not made in weak years, and all grapes used to make the wine were harvested in the same year.
The different prestige Champagnes in the LVMH portfolio are deliberately produced in different styles. In the case of Dom Pérignon, this means that it is produced with a noticeable influence of oak, but with very little oxidation at the time of release. Around 5 million bottles are produced in each vintage. The wine is 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir, with 6 g/l dosage.
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. The making of each vintage involves a delicate job of assemblage and adjustment – different time - before the mysterious balance between Dom Pérignon’s “white” and “black grapes (chardonnay and pinot noir) can be reached.
This delicate exercise is full of risks. The assemblage of each Dom Pérignon vintage is a creative act in the most inspired and daring sense of the term. The extra effort that goes into its making enables each vintage to express its unique character while affirming (through its singularity) the timeless style of Dom Pérignon.
Dom Pérignon 2000 is fresh, crystalline and sharp, the first nose reveals a unique vegetal, aquatic world, with hints of white pepper and gardenia. The wine’s maturity then makes a gentle appearance before exhaling peaty accents.In the mouth, the attack is direct, a prelude to a lusty roundness that seems to curl up like a plant. The notes of anis and dried ginger glide over fruit skins (pear and mango), creating an effect that is more tactile than fleshy. The finale stretches out and then comes to rest, calm, mature and diffuse.
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is a classic Dom Pérignon vintage. It's big and fruity initially, a mouthful of ripeness. Then the texture and structure of this dense wine come through. It’s as much wine as Champagne, rich, the apple and fresh pear flavors vying with yeasty and a tense crispness. Worth aging, it will be even better in 3-4 years." (12/08) 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2000 Brut 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. According to winemaker Vincent Chaperone there is only one disgorgement date for the first release of Dom Perignon, and the 2000 was disgorged over a period of weeks in March and April, 2007, 2007. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2018." (12/08) 91 points Wine Spectator: "Starts out round and plush, then the structure takes over. Light peach and berry flavors prevail as this plays out on the lingering finish. Give it a little time to integrate, but this should develop well. Best from 2009 through 2024."