Dom Pérignon (wine)

Dom Pérignon (wine)

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Dom Pérignon is a brand of vintage Champagne produced by the Champagne house Moët & Chandon and serves as that house's prestige champagne. It is named after Dom Pérignon
Dom Pérignon (person)
Dom Pierre Pérignon, O.S.B., was a French Benedictine monk who made important contributions to the production and quality of Champagne wine in an era when the region's wines were predominantly still and red...

, a Benedictine
Benedictine
Benedictine refers to the spirituality and consecrated life in accordance with the Rule of St Benedict, written by Benedict of Nursia in the sixth century for the cenobitic communities he founded in central Italy. The most notable of these is Monte Cassino, the first monastery founded by Benedict...

 monk
Monk
A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism, living either alone or with any number of monks, while always maintaining some degree of physical separation from those not sharing the same purpose...

 who was an important quality pioneer for Champagne wine but who, contrary to popular myths, did not discover the champagne method for making sparkling wine
Sparkling wine
Sparkling wine is a wine with significant levels of carbon dioxide in it making it fizzy. The carbon dioxide may result from natural fermentation, either in a bottle, as with the méthode champenoise, in a large tank designed to withstand the pressures involved , or as a result of carbon dioxide...

s.

History


Dom Pérignon (1638–1715) was a monk
Monk
A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism, living either alone or with any number of monks, while always maintaining some degree of physical separation from those not sharing the same purpose...

 and cellar master at the Benedictine
Benedictine
Benedictine refers to the spirituality and consecrated life in accordance with the Rule of St Benedict, written by Benedict of Nursia in the sixth century for the cenobitic communities he founded in central Italy. The most notable of these is Monte Cassino, the first monastery founded by Benedict...

 abbey
Abbey
An abbey is a Catholic monastery or convent, under the authority of an Abbot or an Abbess, who serves as the spiritual father or mother of the community.The term can also refer to an establishment which has long ceased to function as an abbey,...

 in Hautvillers
Hautvillers
Hautvillers is a commune in the Marne department in north-eastern France....

. He was the first to blend grapes in such a way as to improve the quality of wines and deal with a number of their imperfections, in 1670. He also introduced corks, which were fastened to bottles with hemp
Hemp
Hemp is mostly used as a name for low tetrahydrocannabinol strains of the plant Cannabis sativa, of fiber and/or oilseed varieties. In modern times, hemp has been used for industrial purposes including paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food and fuel with modest...

 string soaked in oil in order to keep the wines fresh and sparkling, and used thicker glass in order to strengthen the bottles (which were prone to explode at that time). The development of sparkling wines as the main style of production in Champagne occurred progressively in the 19th century, over one century after Dom Pérignon's death.

Dom Pérignon was the first prestige cuvée
Cuvee
Cuvée is a French wine term derived from cuve, meaning vat or tank. The term cuvée is used with several different meanings, more or less based on the concept of a tank of wine put to some purpose:...

Champagne introduced, an idea proposed by Englishman Laurence Venn. The first vintage of Dom Pérignon was 1921 and was only released for sale in 1936.

The first buyers of Dom Pérignon 1921 were 150 customers of Simon Bros & Co, the company that imported Moët in the United Kingdom, which ordered the first 300 bottles. The wine got immediate attention in the marketplace and 100 boxes were shipped to the United States shortly thereafter. James Buchanan Duke, the billionaire who had founded the American Tobacco Company
American Tobacco Company
The American Tobacco Company was a tobacco company founded in 1890 by J. B. Duke through a merger between a number of U.S. tobacco manufacturers including Allen and Ginter and Goodwin & Company...

, ordered 100 bottles for himself. The 17 bottles sold at an auction in Christie
Christie
Christie can refer to:* Christie * Christie's, the auction house* Christie, California, in Contra Costa County* Christie, the Canadian division of Nabisco* Christie , subway station in Toronto, Ontario, Canada...

's in New York City in June 2004 were part of that order (Doris Duke, the billionaire’s daughter, had kept them in her cellar). According to Dom Pérignon cellar master Richard Geoffroy, the 1921 vintage had a "distinctive bouquet comprising sandalwood
Sandalwood
Sandalwood is the name of a class of fragrant woods from trees in the genus Santalum. The woods are heavy, yellow, and fine-grained, and unlike many other aromatic woods they retain their fragrance for decades. As well as using the harvested and cut wood in-situ, essential oils are also extracted...

, vanilla
Vanilla
Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the Mexican species, Flat-leaved Vanilla . The word vanilla derives from the Spanish word "", little pod...

 and praline
Praline
Praline is a family of confections made from nuts and sugar syrup.-Europe:As originally inspired in France at the Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte by the cook of the 17th-century sugar industrialist Marshal du Plessis-Praslin , early pralines were whole almonds individually coated in caramelized sugar,...

".

Until the 1943 vintage, Dom Pérignon was produced from regular vintage Moët & Chandon Champagne that was transferred to the special 18th Century-style bottles after extended cellaring. It was thus effectively an "oenothèque" release of Moët & Chandon Vintage Champagne in a different bottle. From the 1947 vintage, Dom Pérignon has been produced separately from the start.

In 1981, Dom Pérignon was chosen for the wedding of Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles. The magnums of Dom Pérignon Vintage 1961 served on that July 29 carried a special insignia created just for the ceremony.

Vintages


From 1921 to 2002, Dom Pérignon champagne has been produced in 36 years. Three vintage years in a row are a rare phenomenon (which has only occurred two times: in 1969, 1970 and 1971, in 1998, 1999 and 2000).

The 36 Dom Pérignon until 2002 are: 1921, 1928, 1929, 1934, 1943, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002.

Since 1959 a rosé
Rosé
A rosé is a type of wine that has some of the color typical of a red wine, but only enough to turn it pink. The pink color can range from a pale orange to a vivid near-purple, depending on the grapes and wine making techniques.- Production techniques :There are three major ways to produce rosé...

 version of Dom Pérignon is also produced. 21 Dom Pérignon Rosé vintages have been produced until 2000: 1959, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000.

Style


Dom Pérignon is a vintage
Vintage
Vintage, in wine-making, is the process of picking grapes and creating the finished product . A vintage wine is one made from grapes that were all, or primarily, grown and harvested in a single specified year. In certain wines, it can denote quality, as in Port wine, where Port houses make and...

 champagne, meaning that it is not made in weak years, and all grapes used to make the wine were harvested in the same year.

Current production


The number of bottles produced in each vintage is not precisely defined (a couple of million ). As a result, the final composition changes every vintage: at times a blend in perfectly equal proportions (e.g. 1990 Rosé), at times up to 60% Chardonnay
Chardonnay
Chardonnay is a green-skinned grape variety used to make white wine. It is originated from the Burgundy wine region of eastern France but is now grown wherever wine is produced, from England to New Zealand...

 (1982) or 60% Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir
Pinot noir is a black wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. The name may also refer to wines created predominantly from Pinot noir grapes...

 (1969), and only once going over 60% (with 65% Chardonnay in 1970). According to Richard Geoffroy's Manifesto : "Dom Pérignon expresses its first plenitudes after seven years in the cellar." As of 2010, the current release of Dom Pérignon is from the 2002 vintage and the current release of Dom Pérignon Rosé is from the 2000 vintage.

The current (2010) winemaker is Richard Geoffroy, who has been Chef de Cave for Dom Pérignon since 1998.

Auction market


Dom Pérignon is often traded at wine auctions. A recent wave of auction price records started in 2004, with the sale of the Doris Duke collection at Christie’s in New York City. Three bottles of Dom Pérignon 1921 sold for US $24,675. In 2008, two sales held by Acker Merrall & Condit also left their mark on the history of Dom Pérignon, with three magnums of Dom Pérignon Oenothèque (1966, 1973 and 1976) selling for US $93,260 in Hong Kong, and a lot of two bottles of the legendary Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 1959 selling for US $84,700 in New York. Only 306 bottles of the 1959 Rosé Vintage were produced, and they were never sold. In 1971, it was served in Persepolis at the lavish festivities celebrating the 2500th anniversary of the founding of the Persian Empire by Cyrus the Great.

On April 17, 2010 a new record was set for a sale of wine in Britain according to the Daily Telegraph. A buyer would have spent more than £
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

35,000 for Methuselah
Wine bottle
A wine bottle is a bottle used for holding wine, generally made of glass. Some wines are fermented in the bottle, others are bottled only after fermentation. They come in a large variety of sizes, several named for Biblical kings and other figures. The standard bottle contains 750 ml,...

(6L) 1996 Dom Perignon Champagne Rose (Rose Gold). This transaction took place at the Westbury Hotel at a party that followed the screening of the new film, Boogie Woogie.

A vertical of Dom Pérignon Rosé Œnothèque, a world premiere release from the reserve cellar of Dom Pérignon, never commercially released before, was sold at a record price at a wine auction organized by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong in May 2010. The 30 bottle lot of Dom Pérignon Œnothèque Rosé bottles and magnums from 1966, 1978, 1982, 1985, 1988 and 1990 achieved HK$1,331,000/ US$170,641 which set the world auction record for a single lot of champagne and is the first HK$1 million lot of wine Sotheby’s has sold in Hong Kong.

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