I remember the first time I tasted the 2002 Dom Perignon with then-Chef de Caves Richard Geoffroy at Hautvillers. It was the upcoming release at the time. As was his custom, Geoffroy served the 2002 in a flight that included a number of previous releases. The bouquet was immediately stunning for its audacity. I had never tasted anything like it. Two thousand-two was a year marked by extreme ripeness in the Chardonnays, and that opulence has always been a big part of the wine s profile. Today, what strikes me most about the 2002 is its timelessness. That youthful opulence remains, yet the 2002 is still vibrant, almost shocking in its freshness. Apricot, ripe peach, tangerine oil, butter and dried flowers all build towards a captivating crescendo of aromas and flavors that saturates the finish. Readers can look forward to another two decades of exceptional drinking.
Anticipated maturity: 2022-2042
Robert Parker 96
The 2002 Dom Perignon is at first intensely floral, with perfumed jasmine that dominates the bouquet. With time in the glass the wine gains richness as the flavors turn decidedly riper and almost tropical. Apricots, passion fruit and peaches emerge from this flashy, opulent Dom Perignon. The wine’s volume makes it approachable today, but readers in search of more complexity will want to cellar this for at least a few years to allow for some of the baby fat to drop off. Geoffroy describes the vintage as very ripe and adds that some of the Chardonnay showed the ill-effects of the hot growing season in the somewhat burned, dehydrated fruit that came in that year. This bottle was disgorged in July, 2009. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2032. Four new releases of the flagship Dom Perignon are the highlights among these Champagnes from Moet & Chandon. There is a timeless elegance about Dom Perignon that I find comforting and reassuring, like a favorite restaurant or food. For that reason, nothing could have prepared me for the Champagnes I tasted recently with Chef de Caves Richard Geoffroy. While the 2002 Dom Perignon and 1996 Dom Perignon OEenotheque are both for the most part representative of what readers have come to expect from this house, the 2000 Dom Perignon Rose and 1990 Dom Perignon Rose OEenotheque are wines that push the envelope and push it hard. I can’t think of another winemaker at a Grande Marque who is willing to take these kinds of risks by turning well-established conventions on their head. Much of what I tasted reminded me of the experimental, searching spirit that defines so many of the smaller-production, artisan Champagnes being made today. As the saying goes ‘no guts no glory’ and there is plenty of both here. These wines are nothing short of magnificent. Importer: Moet Hennessy USA, New York, NY; tel. (212) 251-8200
Anticipated maturity: 2012-2032