Dom Pérignon champagne owes its name to Pierre Pérignon, the famous monk and cellar master of Abbey de Hautvillers in 1668, who was also known as Dom Pérignon. Legend says that Pierre Pérignon discovered what is known today as the Champagne method. As a point of interest, he taught this method to Benedictine monk, Thierry Ruinart, in 1669, which allowed Ruinart to become the first Champagne house in 1729. Since 1st January 2019, Vincent Chaperon has succeeded Richard Geoffroy as Dom Pérignon’s Cellar Master.
As with every year, the Dom Pérignon Vintage 2008 revitalises the brand’s typical exceptionality while, at the same time, actively participating in the quest to produce a perfect champagne.
Since time shapes the essence of Dom Pérignon champagne, its invaluable bottles are only revealed after many years spent in the house’s cool and darkened ancient chalk pits (crayères). The ripening of the bottles on lees allows Dom Pérignon champagne to gradually transform, enhancing itself through completing various plenitudes and revealing the spirit which drives Dom Pérignon’s DNA.
It is, therefore, after over eight years of production that the Dom Pérignon Vintage 2008 is being revealed. The first plenitude in the wine’s windows of expression, Dom Pérignon Vintage 2008 appears with a perfect balance and a dazzling harmony.
The contrasting weather of the 2008 vintage makes it stand out as a slightly different year during a sunny decade. However, thanks to September’s arrival, a miracle occurred. The harvests, which began on 15 September, were spread out to ensure the picking of the best of the fruits at the right time, with a perfect state of health and berry ripeness.
The Dom Pérignon Vintage 2008 is made from a secret blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
For Richard Geoffroy, the great Cellar Master who began his tenure at the house in 1990, "The 2008 Dom Pérignon vintage is liberated from a too-literal interpretation of Champagne tradition."
Displaying a bright fruitiness and great complexity, the aromatic bouquet opens with delicate floral notes, tangy notes of citrus and stone fruit as well as notes of anise and mint, which add a beautiful freshness. The second nose highlights the fineness of spicy and woody notes, evoking a roasting sensation.
The Dom Pérignon Vintage 2008 reveals a perfect synchronisation between its aromatic expression and its character on the palate. Precise, refined and tonic, the wine deploys a hearty generosity where fruit prevails and is enhanced by a lively acidity. The finish is flavourful, with a lasting length and smoky notes.
An exceptional champagne which character is revealed in the most daring food and wine pairings by bringing out its contrasting character. A unique vintage reminiscent of the legendary year of 1996, with a perfect balance between strength, elegance and freshness, hallmark characteristics of great Dom Pérignons. The Dom Pérignon Vintage 2008 is already iconic.
The finest release of this iconic cuvée since the 1996 vintage, the 2008 Dom Pérignon wafts from the glass with an incipiently complex bouquet of Meyer lemon, green apple, dried white flowers and oyster shell, with only subtle hints of the smoky, autolytic aromas that have been such a prominent signature of recent releases. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, deep and complete, its notable flesh and amplitude controlled by incisive acids, with a youthfully exuberant but elegant mousse and a long, beautifully delineated finish. Considering the sheer size of this cuvée, it's a remarkable achievement and a fitting release with which to conclude Richard Geoffroy's tenure as chef de cave. Given the 2008's intensity and balance, I suspect purists will be anticipating later disgorgements with lower dosage and more time on the lees with particular enthusiasm. Tasted three times, with consistent results.