We have a very special offer today, the exclusive ‘Side by Side’ special edition pack of Dom Perignon 1996 and Dom Perignon Oenothèque 1996. It comes in a superb display case and offers the chance to taste both wines against each other. The Dom Perignon 1996 has been ageing in bottle since 2003 and is considered a legend, one of their greatest ever vintages.The special Oenothèque 1996, which was disgorged in 2008, is the wine’s second release and is officially one of the five greatest champagnes in the last 25 years. Both are completely sold out and the special edition is perfect for a gift or a dinner, allowing one to taste this mythical vintage in two stages of its evolution. Moreover, this price does not reflect a premium, instead the real trading price of these two very rare bottles. We tasted these wines again last week and they are staggering, we were blown away. It was incredible to view the different evolution of the vintage and we did not hesitate to award the 1996 first release 98 points and the Oenothèque 1996 a perfect 100. Dom Perignon UK only have 25 of these cases remaining and we are delighted to be able to offer 15 today.

Dom Perignon 1996 is a special wine, it was released in 2004 to a global fanfare, drawing direct comparison with the truly magnificent 1990. Since then the 1996 has cemented itself as one of the greatest ever vintages, a legend. It is regularly compared to the colossal 1928 vintage, however, it still stands apart: no vintage on record has ever recorded an average 10.3% potential alcohol, yet maintaining such high acidity. Allen Meadows (Burghound) awards it 97 points, Galloni 96 and Jancis Robinson 19/20. After ten years ageing in bottle, most tasting notes reflect that it is only entering its true drinking window now, yet with such extraordinary ripeness, alcohol and acidity – the vintage is arguably too good. Sadly, Dom Perignon 1996 is impossible to get from the house and very little exists in the market. ‘Savvy readers should move quickly to snap up any remaining bottles of the original release that can still be found at a reasonable price’ Antonio Galloni.

Dom Perignon make an exclusive version of their prestige cuvee in their greatest vintages called Oenothèque which means ‘wine library’, referencing the extraordinary cellaring program it undergoes. The standard 1996 Dom Perignon was aged for seven years on its yeast lees, the 1996 was originally disgorged (removing from its lees) in 2003. They kept back a tiny part of the original release for extended ageing on its lees. This was released under the name Dom Perignon Oenothèque, having been disgorged in 2008, since which time it has completely sold out at the house and in the European market. The Oenothèque’s extended ageing imparts more complexity, viscosity, balance and intense flavours, altering Dom Perignon’s elegant style into a powerhouse that can improve in bottle for 40 years.

Wine-searcher recently set out to discover the greatest modern era vintages of champagne by taking the aggregate score of all champagnes. They only considered wines where nine or more critics had tasted the wine and Dom Perignon Oenothèque 1996 made the cut, one of only five champagnes to average 96 points or more, it is one of the greatest champagnes ever made. However, like the original release 1996, the Oenothèque 1996 has now sold out. James Suckling scored this wine 100 points, the Wine Enthusiast 99, Robert Parker 97 and Jancis Robinson 19.5. All of the remaining stock will now be used in the wines third release, which is now refereed to as Plenitude 3: to be released in a minimum of eight years time.

Dom Perignon 1996 with Dom Perignon Oenotheque 1996 – 2×75 – £370 IB or £450.30 incl duty and VAT

Dom Perignon Oenotheque 1996
James Suckling, 100 Points
This shows amazing freshness and depth of fruit while remaining agile and very clean. Full body, dense and layered on the palate. Goes on for minutes with each sip. Lots of mineral and chalk character too. A fabulous Champagne. A blend of half Pinot Noir and half Chardonnay
Jancis Robinson, 19.5/20 Points
Deluxe Brut Blend. 50% Pinot Noir, 50% Chardonnay. The densest wine we tasted at this presentation of World Champions.  So dense it’s almost rigid! Yet it is wonderfully racy. Beautiful balance, very vibrant and reverberant with the most extraordinary persistence. Lovely lacy texture. Bravo! Dosage was apparently 6.5 g/l.

Dom Perignon 1996
Allen Meadows, 97 Points
A distinctly reticent but elegant nose with a purity of expression that is truly impressive to experience as it’s relatively high-toned and while the yeast comes up with air, it’s relatively muted at present, combining with intense, precise and superbly detailed and complex flavors that culminate in an explosive and wonderfully long finish. This may very well rival the sublime ’90 in time even if it’s not quite as concentrated. This is still a baby so there is absolutely no rush whatsoever.

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