Even if you haven’t personally popped a bottle, you’ve probably heard of Dom Pérignon. The name evokes luxury and indulgence: The brand’s iconic bottle-shape and antique label design are signs that a good time is to follow, but how well do you really know this classic Champagne?
These 15 facts will convince anyone you’re a Dom Pérignon expert.
Dom Pérignon is a prestige cuvée, or tête de cuvée, which is the top Champagne a producer makes.
The venerable Champagne house created Dom Pérignon in 1921 as its top cuvée. The vintage was not released, however, until 1936. Originally produced from aged, vintage Moët & Chandon, the brand switched to a distinctly unique production for Dom Pérignon in the ‘40s.
Dom Pierre Pérignon was a 17th-century monk who lived in the Abbey of Hautvillers, where he was also the cellar master. He believed that hard work brought a monk closer to God, which ignited his dream of creating “the best wine in the world.”
Adding sugar to a wine to initiate a second fermentation was documented six years before Dom Pérignon even entered the Abbey at Hautvillers. Pérignon, however, is responsible for several important innovations in Champagne production, such as developing the technique used to make white wine from red grapes and blending grapes to make a superior wine.
In Champagne, only certain vineyards are classified as Grand Cru, and a Champagne must only be made from these vineyards in order to qualify as a Grand Cru Champagne. Dom Pérignon is made with many grapes from Grand Cru vineyards, but each blend always includes grapes from the original plot in the Abbey of Hautvillers, which is classified as Premier Cru fruit.
Each bottling of Dom Pérignon contains grapes only from a single year, showcasing that vintage’s unique characteristics. Dom Pérignon does not produce a non-vintage wine, prioritizing quality over quantity.
Vincent Chaperon, the current chef de cave of Dom Pérignon, will only make and release the wine in vintages that will age gracefully for more than 20 years. If growing conditions are not favorable for high quality production, no vintage will be offered. Typically, only six vintages each decade meet the firm’s high standards..
While the percentages change from vintage to vintage and every offering is unique, the wine is always based on these two key grapes. The percentage is usually somewhere between 50/50 and 60/40, favoring one or the other depending on the flavor profiles of the season.
Dom Pérignon releases each of its vintages three times. The first release is typically aged around nine years, the second around 18, and the third around 25. This time-aging on lees gives the wine complexity and richness. Most bottles of Dom Pérignon are first-release bottles, but if a bottle has “P2” or “P3” on the foil, you’ll know that it’s a second or third plénitude release, respectively. Approximately 5 million bottles of Dom Pérignon are produced each year, and the brand has indicated that it is reserving more bottles for long-term aging to meet demand.
First produced in 1959, Dom Pérignon rosé is often more expensive than its standard bottles. Both are single-vintage blends of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The bottle has a traditional antique foil that is meant to remain adhered to the bottle. Instead, just pull the tab through the foil and remove the cage as if the foil were not there.
Hip hop and rap artists including Drake, Future, Nas, Little Shawn, Notorious B.I.G., 50 Cent, and A Tribe Called Quest all pay homage to the legendary bubbly in a plethora of tracks.
The royal couple poured the 1961 vintage in honor of the bride’s birth year at their royal wedding. It was reported that 99 bottles were delivered to the wedding, and all were consumed.
Dom Pérignon makes an appearance in two Bond films and even Ian Fleming’s “Moonraker.” 007 alludes to his preference for the 1953 vintage in the films “Dr. No” (where he also uses a bottle of 1955 as a weapon) and “Goldfinger.”
In 2018, Lenny Kravitz joined Dom Pérignon’s team as the brand’s first-ever global creative director and photographer. The musician designed a patinated, hammered metal label for a limited edition bottle makeover to complement the brand’s rosé as well as a special case for vintage 2008 magnum bottles that doubles as a candleholder. The culmination of the collaboration is a Champagne table complete with storage for Champagne flutes, bottles, and an ice bucket.
Yes, Dom Pérignon is the tête de cuvée label from renowned Champagne house Moët & Chandon. This wine is made in the Champagne region of France in the traditional method, earning it the title of Champagne. And since it’s a prestige cuvée, Dom Pérignon is only made in the best years.
Dom Pérignon retails for an average $262, though bottles can be found for more or less, depending on the vintage and the retailer.
Every bottle of Dom Pérignon contains grapes harvested in a single year, meaning that they only produce unique vintages. If grapes and growing conditions aren’t favorable in a given year, Dom Pérignon may not produce a vintage at all.
Dom Pérignon’s vintages are aged for a minimum of seven years, and employ the finest grapes sourced from Champagne, France.
Dom Pérignon is dry on the palate.
The article 15 Things You Should Know About Dom Pérignon appeared first on VinePair.