There is Champagne and then there is Champagne Dom Pérignon.
Dom Pérignon only makes vintage Champagne. Each and every vintage is singular, marrying the characteristics of the vintage with the style of the house. This wine, the Dom Pérignon Plénitude 1, is the first expression of three Plénitudes, milestones of development of the wine under lees. The first Plénitude, after around nine years of ageing, is bottled and shows promise, completeness and harmony. We know it by name and by sight as the classic Dom Pérignon.
Nutty and toasty, this is already maturing. It has a ripe, soft texture, deliciously balanced between acidity, grapefruit and riper peach flavours. It feels sumptuous, rich and certainly ready to drink. 95 points (12/2010).
The 2000 Dom Perignon is a gorgeous, seductive wine that floats on the palate with remarkable grace. Toasty aromas meld into freshly cut flowers, apricots and pears, with sweet notes of mint and licorice that linger on the long finish. This perfumed, inviting Dom Perignon is elegance personified, and in this vintage the wine fully merits its lofty reputation. 94 points, Wine Advocate (3/2009).
Playing off the ripe 2000 vintage, this bottling of Dom Pérignon has intriguing layers of fruit complexity, from mature golden apple to lemon and greener tones of lima and wax beans. The flavours are clean and lasting, transformed into the glistening minerality of limestone. Firm and harmonious, this should develop for a decade or longer. 94 points (12/2008).
Pale gold with a fine bead. Gently smoky aromas of lemon, pear, bay, buttered toast and lees. Round, lightly sweet orange and pear flavours are underscored by smoky minerals and given bite by refreshingly bitter lemon pith. Finishes with a lingering smokiness. This is drinking very well right now and offers classic DP toastiness. 92 points, International Wine Cellar (11/2008).
Starts out round and plush, then the structure takes over. Light peach and berry flavours prevail as this plays out on the lingering finish. Give it a little time to integrate, but this should develop well. 91 points, Wine Spectator (12/2008)
Located 150 km east of Paris, Champagne is the French wine region renowned for producing the finest, most rich and complex sparkling wines in the world. The elegance, longevity and racy acidity of these wines are attributed to the influence of the chalky soils of the region and the cool, marginal continental climate. The region spans an area of 35,000 ha and has 4 main growing areas, each favouring one of the three noble Champagne varieties; Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. Champagne has a vineyard quality hierarchy based on the soils, aspect and overall quality of the grapes. Like Burgundy, these quality designations are allocated to the vineyards of the village. Of the 319 villages of Champagne, 17 have Grand Cru status and 44 villages are designated Premier Cru. All Champagne is produced by Traditional Method. The vast majority of Champagne is a blend of the three varieties and may also be a blend of several vintages producing the popular Non Vintage (NV) house styles. Top quality blends from exceptional years are sold as Vintage (Millésime) Champagne.