Dom Pérignon Vintage Champagne 1996, 75cl in Dom Pérignon Presentation Gift Box
The Dom Pérignon 1996 is famous. This is one of the most impressive Dom Pérignons ever produced, with many wine critics claiming it is even richer than the awesome 1990. This delicious Champagne will age for decades to come. Lauded as the best since 1990, maybe better, the '96 from Dom Pérignon is now enjoying what Richard Geoffroy describes as its 'second plénitude' of development; that is to say the rich primary fruit from this 50/50 Pinot/Chardonnay blend is now taking on a biscuity, honied richness, with hints of tropic fruit, figs and hazelnut adding suitable complexity.
ON THE PALATE
This wine has a physical presence. It is striking and demanding, tactile and vibrant rather than aromatic. It is built on rhythm more than harmony. After an initial cloud of softness, we hit a mineralised verticality that gradually opens out to suggest a bitter, iodised and saline nobility. Notes of crushed rocks, honeysuckle, lemon oil, orange marmalade, and white pear provide a stunning aromatic display as well as palate impression. Great acidity and huge flavour intensity backed up by vibrant acidity make this an exquisite Champagne.
There is an apparent paradox, with concentration and movement vying for ascendancy. The structure of the wine is tense and assertive. Its energy, almost tactile, is contained for a moment before vibrating and exploding. Its opulence then becomes superbly persistent, trenchant and persuasive.
ON THE NOSE
Praline rapidly combines with citron and dried figs. Darker underlying iodine and peaty notes also emerge.
THE 1996 HARVEST
The year was full of contrasts and the summer changeable, with the wetter periods never quite making up for the earlier hydric deficit. Eventually, in the month before grape-picking (September 16), it was as much the spells of hot weather as the influence of north-easterly winds that led to the original maturity of the vintage.