Dom Pérignon

We are entering the festive season and it is only appropriate to celebrate with a glass of fine fizz. There has been a heavy focus on wines from Bordeaux on the blog recently and so I thought perhaps it would refreshing if I write about Champagne instead.

Sparkling wines from Champagne are made in the traditional method. This involves integrating carbon dioxide generated during the second fermentation of the wine into the wine to provide fizz. Complexity is further introduced by ageing the wine on the lees. Champagne houses with huge underground cellars will often have the required space to carry this out at a massive scale. Riddling is simultaneously at this stage which will help gather the lees deposit near the neck of the bottle before the deposit is disgorged and the wine fluid re-bottled with possibly a small dosage of syrup.

Here are my tasting notes of Doms which I tasted at the University Wine Circle towards the end of October:

Dom Pérignon 2004: light straw in appearance; highly aromatic – citrus, floral, yeasty and minerally. Gentle racy mousse in the palate along with citrus, cool white fruits flavours coming through. Also, nuts and almonds flavours and a long fish. Pinot Noir 53% and 47% Chardonnay. No Pinot Meunier is used for Dom.

Dom Pérignon 2002: light straw in appearance; highly aromatic – citrus, vegetal, floral, flinty and touch of honey and ripe white fruit flavours. Definitely more complex on the nose than the ’04. Gentle, not very grippy mousse; flavours – citrus, grapefruit again. Crisp acidity (relative to other Champagnes but still high in the general context of white wines), light bodied – a touch heavier than the ’04, Finish is long but slightly shorter than the previous wine. It is a more intense and rounder wine than the ’04.

Dom Pérignon 1996: light yellow in appearance; fairly aromatic – nutty, spice, floral, yeasty, minerality – very complex nose. Medium intensity on the  palate – citrus and apples. Crisp acidity, light bodied. 60% Chardonnay

Dom Pérignon Oenotheque 1995: Library wine that was disgorged recently in 2008. Light yellow in appearance. Aromatics are very developed – truffles, mushroom, biscuits, floral and vegetal. Intense on the palate – nutty toast, mouse is racy and engaging.

Dom Pérignon Rosé 2003: Salmon pink in appearance; fairly aromatic – nose was very open, obtain aromas of red fruit which is slightly confected, minerality and floral notes. Fairly intense of the palate – red fruit less ripe, mouse is fairly racy, crisp acidity, light bodied. Finish is very long, and steely.

The base blend often consists of Pinot Noir fruit from Hautvillers and Chardonnay is sourced from Grand Cru sites, e.g. Äy.