There is usually a lot of hype around a new vintage of Dom Perignon launching and the 2012 is no exception. The 2012 holds true to the vintage being a little more muscular but staying true to the Dom Perignon house style possessing a tonne of complexities and finesse. The critics score this cuvee up to 98-Points.
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What a magnificent bouquet for this Dom Pérignon 2012! Pastry, a hint of smoke and autolytic notes provide a compelling counterpart to eager yet elegant aromas of citrus (lime, tangerine and kumquat) joined by those of fresh fruit, herbs, liquorice, and menthol. There is even a refreshing note of ivy. The palate is tense, vibrant, and very fresh despite its impressive density, which meets its match with an unending finish. This 2012 incarnates the very essence of Dom Pérignon with such a concentrated degree of intensity, along with a capacity for ageing, that it is surely destined for a second life in a P2 edition.
The 2012 Dom Pérignon is a dense, powerful wine. I am almost shocked by its vinous intensity and raw, unbridled power. The 2012 reminds me of the 2003, but with more finesse and not quite as pushed. Mildew, rain and frost were challenges and resulted in low yields, something that was further compounded by warm, dry weather that concentrated the fruit even more. Those qualities result in a dense Dom Pérignon endowed with real phenolic intensity. It is one of the most reticent young Doms I can remember tasting, I wouldn’t even think of opening a bottle for at least a few years.
The 2012 Dom Pérignon has turned out very well indeed, unwinding in the glass with notes of Anjou pear, smoke, toasted nuts, freshly baked bread and crisp stone fruit. Medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, it's still tightly wound, its incipiently fleshy core of fruit framed by racy acids and chalky grip, complemented by a classy pinpoint mousse. A touch drier and a touch less reductive than the 2008 out of the gates, these two vintages are clearly destined to be compared for some time to come; but at this early stage, my instinct is that the 2012 will have the edge in the long term.
Dom Pérignon is vintage champagne only. Each release is both uniquely expressive of the vintage and the character of Dom Perignon. Their artistic winemaking hand and pursuit of absolute perfection is what gives them that ‘je ne sais quoi’ that has led to huge adoration the world over.
The history of Dom Perignon and champagne are as old as time. Abbey of Hautvillers is widely regarded to be the birthplace of champagne where in 1668 Dom Pierre Pérignon took up his role as cellar master. Adding a touch of residual sugar and storing the wine in bottles, Dom Perignon actually stumbled upon a sparkling cuvee my complete accident. Adopting rogue practices such as using red grapes to make white wine and blending different parcels to create an even more complex cuvee, Dom Perignon quickly grew the Abbey of Hautvillers to great renown. Arguably Dom Pierre Pérignon set the standard for all wine now produced in the "champenoise" method.
Dom Perignon Vintage Brut
With its instantly recognisable label, Dom Perignon has grown to one of Champagne’s most powerful brands producing a product of incredible pedigree and consistency. The blend is typically made up of an equally split proportion of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, with half of their vineyards are classified as Grand Cru. William Kelley of the Wine Advocate notes that Dom Perignons house style is “typically quite marked by toasty, smoky aromas of reduction in its youth, opening up with age on cork to reveal scents redolent of pear, peach and tangerine, with those youthfully reductive signatures transmuting into subtler suggestions of wheat toast and iodine.”
Dom Perignon Rose
The Dom Perignon Rose focuses on the pinot noir grape which provides power for a more expressive cuvee which usually unfurls in the glass with aromas of orange, dried white flowers, red berries, toast and woodsmoke. The rose is typically released after 12 years in the cellar, somewhere in between the Brut and P2 cuvee. In many vintages the Dom Peringon rose is a great gastronomic wine with the versatility to match many great dishes. Dom Perignon themselves describe the rose cuvee as “untamed and carnal, both light and dark, magnetic” and we couldn’t agree more.
Dom Perignon Plénitude 2 / P2
Dom Perignon Plenitude 2 also referred to as just “P2” is the second life of Dom Perignon. The wine has spent 15 years maturing on lees which is typically twice as long as any vintage of the regular Dom Perignon. The extra time on the lees provides ample time for the wine to grow in density and complexity whilst being a late disgorge, the cuvee carries a lot of freshness for its age. Champagne aficionado Richard Juhlin highlights that the Plenitude 2 “will forever be unique and different with a higher density and concentration than any other Dom Pérignon”. With Dom Perignon only keeping a tiny fraction of the cuvee back to make the Plenitude 2, it’s incredibly difficult to locate but will provide champagne fans with incredible pleasure.