The release of the 2006 marks the first time in the grand cuvée’s nearly-90 year history that five consecutive vintages have been made.
Richard Geoffroy, Chef de Cave says –
“I am a lucky man! The first decade of the new millenium has been prodigious for Dom Pérignon. I feel it might attain the golden eras of the 1920’s or 1960’s. This is why I am blessed to introduce Dom Pérignon Vintage 2006. The ambition of Dom Pérignon has always been to witness the vintages in Champagne. The reward of our commitment and dedication to the vintage is to be able to celebrate the release of our fifth vintage in a row, for the first time in the history of Dom Pérignon.
Out of these five vintages, four have been harvested at a stage of intense ripeness. Such frequency has never been seen in 300 years of Champagne harvests… yet each of these Vintages is unique. It is almost impossible to characterize full ripeness, as it can stem from a variety of weather conditions. I observed that there are two ways for the associated richness to express itself in the wine: either solemn, such as 2003 or 2005; or generous, such as 2002 or 2006.”
Dom Pérignon 2006 is best typified by its superlative generosity: a pure, airy and bright bouquet on the nose; a distinctive opulence, contained and succulent, on the palate. In essence, a luminous and glorious Champagne.
Champagne put in a strong performance on Liv-ex for 2015; it has accounted for 6.1% of trade on Liv-ex so far this year, up from 2.8% in 2014. The activity on the wine exchange has been driven by a flurry of new releases, including Dom Pérignon 2006, Pol Roger 2004 and Cristal 2007.
Antonio Galloni scored Cristal 2007 97+ points in July, describing it as “without question one of the very finest releases of the year”.
With its high score, at £1,040 a case, Cristal 2007 is currently cheaper than all other vintages on the market, so may prove an attractive investment for Champagne lovers given that it’s value is likely to rise in time.
Produced in large quantities, Champagne prices plateau when the wine enters the market but rise again after several years as the fizz becomes scarce.
Dom Pérignon’s chef de cave, Richard Geoffroy, defended multiple vintage Champagne releases at the launch of Dom Pérignon 2006 in London last month. “There is more latitude in playing the vintage game than ever. Some people might think we’re playing it safe via the status of the brand but every vintage has its story. In an ideal world I’d make a vintage wine every year. “There’s a debate in Champagne about reserving vintage releases for the best years but there shouldn’t be any artificial limitations put on it,” he said. “The first half of the last decade was fantastic – we should witness how remarkable those vintages were. When the quality is that spectacular you have to put the wines forward for release,” he added.
Geoffroy believes it is now normal to release seven to eight vintages per decade.
“In only a few weeks my attention will be fully devoted to the 2015 vintage. The month of August is the calm before the storm, the perfect time to reflect on the past and contemplate the tasks to come. Since my last recap on the 2014 harvest I have had the opportunity to taste the wines several times.
In 2014 the selection of vineyards and grapes themselves were of utmost importance. The sanitary conditions created a scarcity effect, and we could only hope to reach our goal of excellence through careful and drastic sorting. The 2014 vintage was certainly heterogeneous: however there were hidden gems to be found throughout Champagne. Thankfully, through the diversity and quality of our grape sources, we could afford to be picky and to choose fruit only from the best vineyards.
The Pinot Noir grapes were few but had reached a high level of maturity. They contributed tropical aromas of exotic fruits, and were marked with generosity, fullness and amazing length. The Chardonnays, also quite mature and of high quality, were able to provide the much need acidic backbone to bring balance on the palate.
It is again too early to offer a final pronouncement about the 2014 vintage, which was certainly the most challenging since 2005. In this context I am already quite satisfied with what we have been able to achieve.”
Chef de Cave, Dom Pérignon
“I wish you and your loved ones a happy new year and all the best for 2013! What better way to do this than to announce the launch of the Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 2002?
Following the strong success of the Dom Pérignon Vintage 2002, the expectations were very high for the Rosé. My feeling is that they were met; my ambition is that they were surpassed; my wish is that you will concur. The story of 2002 is written into the wine: the spring was warm and dry leading to almost perfect flowering; the summer saw long sunny stretches interspersed with overcast and rainy spells, with one final sunny interlude before the harvest. It would be hard to think of a more favourable growing season.
This is reflected in the wine as Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 2002 lives up to its promise of accomplished harmony, offering a pure expression of the spirit of Dom Pérignon. This new vintage of Dom Pérignon Rosé will be declared in Istanbul, Turkey on January 23, 2013. I will narrate the tale of this highly awaited night in a future entry.”
Champagne producers Dom Perignon, Philipponnat and Champagne Barons de Rothschild have confirmed they will make a 2012 vintage.
Despite what vignerons called one of the worst growing seasons they had seen for decades, with April frosts, hailstorms, and one of the wettest summers on record, they are optimistic for 2012 vintage quality.
‘The quality and the intensity are definitely there to make an outstanding vintage,’ Dom Perignon chef de cave Richard Geoffroy told Decanter.
Winegrowers said the warm weather in August was a saving grace. As harvest grew closer it became apparent that the small amounts of grapes on the vines were of excellent quality. In September as grapes were picked and pressed, often at close to 11% alcohol, the growers were amazed at the concentration of flavour, natural sugar and acidity, then a talk of a potential vintage started to spread.
‘The base wines show a lovely richness as well as the acidity needed to make outstanding and long-lived Champagnes,’ Jean-Phillipe Moulin, director of wine making at Champagne Barons de Rothschild and Paul Goerg. ‘We will definitely bottle a vintage for both brands.’
Charles Philipponnat at Champagne Philipponat agreed. ‘2012 is an exceptional vintage and especially promising for Pinot Noir,’ he said, and was echoed by at least three other producers, including Champagne Boizel and Champagne Tarlant.
Benoit Tarlant said the quality of all three grape varieties was ‘excellent – something which is extremely rare’.
He added that he would make less non-vintage this year. ‘It would be a pity not to make a decent amount of vintage wine, even if it means we have a little less of of our non-vintage cuvee.’
The harvest average in 2012 was just under 9,000 kg/hectare – significantly lower than the maximum allowance of 11,000kg/hectare.