Dom Pérignon Oenothèque - Champagne Perfection
Friday, September 12, 2014 in News
In the rarefied world of prestige cuvée Champagne, Dom Pérignon Oenothèque is held with special reverence. Released only in the very best vintages, Dom Pérignon Oenothèque is released 15 to 20 years after harvest after extensive ageing on lees. But what impact does this long ageing actually have on the wine?
According to Cellar Master Richard Geoffroy, Dom Pérignon does not evolve in a straight-forward linear way, but instead ages in a series of stages. It is during these “windows of opportunity” when the Champagne is at one of its peaks that Dom Pérignon can be disgorged and released to reveal a different expression of the same vintage.
Much like any one of us, Dom Pérignon undergoes three specific stages of maturation. The first stage occurs when Dom Pérignon is first released after seven to eight years on lees. At this point the Champagne is exuberant yet youthful, with child-like energy and vibrancy.
The second stage occurs when the Champagne reaches its second peak. It is this peak that coincides with the first “Oenothèque” release. After 12 to 15 years on lees, the wine is an adult - at its prime, still showing energy but a deeper intensity and layered complexity that comes with long lees ageing. Since “Oenothèque” is also late disgorged it also shows plenty of youthful freshness and vibrancy.
The final release at approximately 30 years post- harvest coincides with the second ‘Oenotheque’ release. At this point the Champagne has reached its third peak, showing the depth of character and complexity of a fully mature wine.
Now on offer, the current release of the 1996 Dom Pérignon Oenothèque is a masterpiece. Considered to be one of the greatest Dom Pérignons of all time, it is a Champagne with which to savour life’s greatest occasions.