October 27th 2016
Rebranding something is hard. Persons are conservative by nature and even when one thing has a terrible name to start off with, like “Oil of Ulay”’s alter to merely “Olay” or “Opal Fruits” to “Starburst”, there’s the feeling that something’s been lost. Dom Pérignon’s chief Chef de Cave Richard Geoffroy surely had that worry when he took the audacious step in renaming Dom Pérignon’s late cellar release, the Oenothèque, to the additional ornate, Plénitude. Having said that, at a current tasting of the Dom Pérignon Plenitude (P2) Rosé 1996 he was delighted with his choice.
For these who do not know the story, Dom Pérignon has traditionally created exemplary vintage champagne, released practically 10 years right after becoming created at a point exactly where the Champagne home feels their wine is each at its earliest to delight in but can also advantage from time in the cellar. Furthermore, they do not release all of their vintage production, a proportion is held back, kept on their lees in the bottle, and not disgorged. This is then released at a later point when the wine has evolved into one thing unique nevertheless. The most current instance of this was the Dom Pérignon 1996 Oenothèque – the suffix denoting a library or later cellar release.
The difficulty for Richard Geoffroy was that 1 suffix wasn’t adequate, as to his thoughts Dom Perignon has many evolutionary stages, additional than just the initial and then later release. As he puts it, “each vintage of Dom Pérignon is disgorged and (re)released only when I contemplate it has reached a new Plénitude, a privileged period of time when Dom Pérignon attains its radiance.” Right here Richard is conveying 3 points, firstly that there is a generosity and fullness to the wine at every single stage in its life, second that it has reached a new point in its evolution, and thirdly that there can be many Plénitudes of the identical wine more than the course of time.
Final Thursday’s tasting was one thing of a journey, as we went from a pop-up installation on South Moulton street to the Dom Pérignon suite at Claridges. We tasted our way from the most current 2006 Vintage release to the newest Plenitude, the P2 Dom Perignon Rosé 1996, by way of to the opulent P2 Rosé 1995, and the sophisticated and beautifully fine P2 Rosé 1993. The 1996 getting been lately disgorged is nevertheless extremely young (at 20 years old) and just about closed. It is a correct paradox of flavours, tightly knit citrus vibrancy surrounded by mature and just about oxidative notes related with yeast autolysis and extended lees aging.
While we had the terrific pleasure to attempt these wines, the true privilege of the tasting was getting Richard himself take us by way of them, as effectively as the story and his causes and thoughts on the evolution of Dom Pérignon. In his owns words, “Each wine—each Plénitude—will reveal a unique facet of Dom Pérignon: P2 and P3, thanks to the additional time spent maturating on their lees below our cautious interest, will grant you an knowledge ever closer to the Spirit of Dom Pérignon.”