Dom Pérignon to launch 2009 vintage – ahead of 2008
2017 will mark the first time in Dom Pérignon’s history that the prestige cuvée has chosen to release vintages in reverse order.
Dom Pérignon is set to launch three new vintages this year: the 2009 blanc, 2005 rosé and the 2000 P2, and, significantly, in June this year it will release the 2009, ahead of the 2008.
“The 2009 was a warm year producing quite rich wines and so the first plentitude of the wine was reached quicker than the 2008, which was a cooler year,” explained Dom Pérignon’s international marketing director, Niccoló Ragazzoni, during an interview with the drinks business earlier this year.
While Dom Pérignon has so far launched a vintage from every harvest in the noughties, apart from 2001, Ragazzoni confirmed that there would be no 2007 to follow the 2006, which was released in September 2015.
“Richard Geoffroy felt that 2007 didn’t have the potential to express the Dom Pérignon character,” he said, although he stressed that it was Richard Geoffroy’s “ambition to make a vintage every year.”
As previously reported by db, a mild winter saw early flowering in Champagne in 2007, followed by the cloudiest summer on record. Producers faced uneven ripeness and rot, which contributed to a mixed picture of quality. In general, Chardonnay was less affected, while producers who held their nerve to pick later were rewarded with more mature grapes. Those with the right sites and timing decided to release a vintage.
As for 2008, it was been widely described as a brilliant vintage and the best in Champagne since the legendary 2002. Bookended by bright, dry conditions in spring and September, the middle of the growing season saw cool conditions prevail to produce a high quality crop with plenty of acidity.
2009 was yet another year to put a smile on the faces of the Champenois. Early feedback drew comparisons with years like 1982 or 1989, while Pinot Noir in particular shone.
Meanwhile, Ragazzoni told db that the fastest growing expression in Dom Pérignon’s range was the P2, commenting that the rebrand of the late-release vintage from Oenothèque to P2 had been “successful”, helped by an advertising campaign launched in 2016 featuring Oscar-winning actor Christophe Waltz.
The campaign, called ‘Meet the Ultimate Dom Pérignon, P2 Plénitude Deuxième. Touched with plénitude’, sees Waltz “capture” the multitude of expressions and emotions contained within a bottle of P2.
Dom Pérignon’s vintage-only Champagnes are said to age in a series of stages – or plénitudes – when the Champagne can be disgorged and released to offer a different expression of the same vintage.
Each Dom Pérignon Plénitude has a distinct character. The first plénitude, Dom Pérignon vintage, is revealed after at least eight years in the cellars, depending on the vintage.
According to Dom Pérignon, P2 is a product that requires more time to reach its second plénitude, and it is the result of 16 years of maturation.
Previously called Oenothèque, Dom Pérignon changed the name of its late-release Champagne to P2 in 2014. “Dom Pérignon has developed through plenitudes since day one, so there is nothing new, but we felt that instead of referring to oenothèque, which is the site holding the inventory, it was better to refer to plénitude,” explained Dom Pérignon cellar master Richard Geoffroy, speaking to the drinks business when the P2 1998 was launched.