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Dom Pérignon launches P2 from 2000 vintage

Dom Pérignon launched its first vintage of 2017 in London today with the unveiling of P2 2000 – the ‘second plénitude’ of the brand’s Champagne from the first harvest of the new millennium.

Dom Pérignon P2 2000: everything is magnified, including the price

The late-release vintage prestige cuvée was introduced by Dom Pérignon winemaker Vincent Chaperon, who presented the Champagne alongside the original 2000 vintage, which was launched in 2008, having been disgorged in late 2007.

Comparing the two expressions of the same harvest, Chaperon described the P2, which has spent an additional nine years ageing on its lees, as a magnified version of the initial release.

“It has matured on its lees from 2001 to 2016, so it has had 15 years intimate contact with the lees, and we have observed what we are looking for in the second plénitude, which is higher energy, it is when everything becomes bigger, and not only the aromatics,” he said.

Continuing, he explained, “You can observe on the palate that the texture, the creaminess has been beefed up.”

So how do the Champagnes compare?

Well, as you can see in my tasting notes below, while the first release of the 2000 vintage from Dom Pérignon (which has now spent more than nine years ageing off its lees) appears rounded and quite evolved, the second plenitude tastes younger, fresher, and generally livelier and a touch more chalky and dry too. This is because it has spent an extra nine years ageing on the lees – a process that slows down ageing – but also because it has a lower dosage: 4 g/l compared to 7 g/l for the first release.

Dom Pérignon P1 2000
Disgorged: end of 2007
Dosage: 7 g/l
RRP: £170 approx

This is the initial release of the 2000 harvest, which was unveiled in April 2008, having been disgorged around four months earlier, when it was given a dosage of 7 g/l. Tasted this morning (6.04.17), it has spent more than nine years ageing off the lees on cork, and almost seven years ageing on them (when it was sealed with a crown cap).

The nose is inviting, combining aromas of roasted creamy coffee, honey, orange peel and a smoky, charcoal-like character – a Champagne that seems quite evolved. Despite the aged aromas on the nose, the palate appears more youthful, with some fresh fruit, a touch of raspberry, along with a gently honeyed, rounded core, and a cappuccino flavour. The finish is still lively with a chalky texture, and slightly bitter citrus zest lift.

Dom Pérignon P2 2000
Disgorged: May of 2016
Dosage: 4 g/l
RRP: £275

Amazing nose of vanilla cream, coffee, toast, ash and grilled nuts. In the mouth it is very alive, taught and energetic with a mouth-filling mousse and flavours of lime, wood smoke and a slightly salty seaweed-like note, along with underlying ripeness – there’s even a touch of pineapple. The finish is firm, fresh and persistent, with a cleansing chalky sensation and taste.

Generally, the first plénitude, Dom Pérignon vintage, is revealed after at least eight years in the cellars, depending on the vintage, and the second plénitude is the result of at least 16 years of maturation.

Then, eventually, there is a third plénitude, after around 30 years, when the Champagne has spent no less than 20 years on its lees.

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