2008 Vintage - James Halliday's Top 100 Wines 2019
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.
The best Dom since 2002. A vintage with very restrained, powerful style that has been released non-sequentially after the 2009. This has a lighter stamp of highly curated, autolytic, toasty aromas than many recent releases. Instead, this delivers super fresh and intense aromas of lemons, grapefruit and blood-orange peel. Incredible freshness here. The palate has a very smoothly delivered, berry-pastry thread with light, sweet spices, stone fruit and fine citrus fruit. This really delivers.
98 points, jamessuckling.com (December 2018)
The 2008 Dom Pérignon is once again stunning. More than anything else, I am surprised by how well the 2008 drinks given all the tension and energy it holds. Then again, that is precisely what makes 2008 such a unique vintage – namely that the best wines are so chiseled and yet not at all austere. Lemon peel, almond, mint, smoke and crushed rocks are all finely sculpted, but it is the wine’s textural feel, drive and persistence that elevate it into the realm of the sublime. The 2008 will be even better with time in the cellar, but it is absolutely phenomenal even today, in the early going. Three recent bottles have all been nothing short of magnificent.
98 points, Vinous (July 2019)
The 2008 Dom Pérignon is fabulous, but quite remarkably, it was even more open when I tasted it a year ago. Bright, focused and crystalline in its precision, the 2008 is going to need a number of years before it is at its best. Lemon peel, white flowers, mint and white pepper give the 2008 its chiseled, bright profile. Several recent bottles have all been magnificent. What I admire most about the 2008 is the way it shows all the focus, translucence and energy that is such a signature of the year, and yet it is also remarkably deep and vertical. In other words, the 2008 is a Champagne that plays in three dimensions.
98+ points, Vinous (July 2018)
The 2008 Dom Pérignon is simply extraordinary. A wine of myriad dimensions, the 2008 explodes in all directions from the very first taste. Deep, powerful and yet wonderfully translucent, the 2008 boasts remarkable purity throughout. Crushed rocks, citrus, chalk and fresh spring water are some of the signatures. The 2008 is a stunning Champagne by any measure. The 2008 won’t be released until at least 2019, but it is already shaping up to be epic. It’s not too early to start setting aside the cash for this utterly magnificent, riveting Champagne.
98+ points, Vinous (July 2017)
The finest release of this iconic cuvée since the 1996 vintage, the 2008 Dom Pérignon wafts from the glass with an incipiently complex bouquet of Meyer lemon, green apple, dried white flowers and oyster shell, with only subtle hints of the smoky, autolytic aromas that have been such a prominent signature of recent releases. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, deep and complete, its notable flesh and amplitude controlled by incisive acids, with a youthfully exuberant but elegant mousse and a long, beautifully delineated finish. Considering the sheer size of this cuvée, it's a remarkable achievement and a fitting release with which to conclude Richard Geoffroy's tenure as chef de cave. Given the 2008's intensity and balance, I suspect purists will be anticipating later disgorgements with lower dosage and more time on the lees with particular enthusiasm. Tasted three times, with consistent results.
96+ points, Wine Advocate (February 2019)
The super-fresh nose combines notions of smoky flint, lemon and wet chalk, yet hints at generosity. Minuscule bubbles create immense creaminess on a palate that dances on its light feet and channels freshness into poise. There’s a promise of future richness and depth, always with ozone freshness and lasting length.
96 points, Decanter (June 2019)
Seven champagnes were submitted for this tasting at prices significantly higher than this great wine. It’s a simple outcome of supply and demand, for Dom’s production is measured in millions of bottles each year. There are often several vintages on sale, none better than this vibrant, elegant, incredibly youthful 2008.
98 points, James Halliday, November 2019. Top 100 Wines of 2019.
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.