In July we were highly privileged to taste the release of Dom Perignon’s new superstar the delayed release P2 (see blog of 2nd July 2014) formerly known as Oenotheque. This has been such a raging success that it has now sold out and if you are lucky enough to have tasted it you will understand why. Fortunately for us those beautiful people at LVMH held a few bottles back and we were able to compare and contrast it once more against a few of its stablemates. Our host for the occasion was Richard Bampfield, MW, 2009 European Champagne Ambassador, who is not only a specialist on Champagne but has an intimate working knowledge of Dom Perignon through his professional consultancy work with them.
Our short vertical started with the 2004 vintage, which is the most recent release, before moving on to the original 1998 vintage and the 1998 P2 which has recently been disgorged and represents a new era in the evolution of Dom Perignon. Finally we tried the 2003 rose and the 1996 Oenotheque from probably one of the greatest Champagne vintages ever. My notes ranged from sublime to delicate via subtle, gorgeous and refined before finishing off with exciting and intense. If you have never had the chance to taste vintage champagne it is a very different experience from the non-vintage variety but I think that Dom Perignon’s ethos most definitely sets it apart from other champagnes. It is undoubtedly lucky that they can afford to set aside stock and let it mature over a number of years but even they acknowledge that they are still experimenting and learning about the maturation cycle of vintage champagne. I can’t wait till their next release of P2 and fingers crossed I will be lucky enough to taste it.