PARIS: Group LVMH’s luxury champagne brand is set to launch its 2008 wine this September. It will be remembered as the vintage that marked the handover of power from cellar master Richard Geoffroy to his successor, Vincent Chaperon.
The quintessence of luxury in the minds of consumers, Dom Pérignon is distinguished from other champagne brands by its insistence that Dom Pérignon can only be made from grapes harvested in a single year. Thus Dom Pérignon champagnes are always true vintages, as opposed to other champagne brands that make use of reserve wines to mitigate the effect of weak years and preserve a clearly identifiable product that remains constant regardless of when it was made.
For every Dom Pérignon, the cellar master or “chef de cave” takes charge of the composition of a Bacchic symphony with the previous year’s pinot noir and chardonnay, which is then left to slowly mature, or regretfully announces that the quality of the harvest in question is not sufficient to “declare a vintage.” For 28 years, this crucial role has fallen to Richard Geoffroy, who has declared 15 vintages in the course of his career at Dom Pérignon. However, on January 1, 2019, he will step down to pave the way for his successor Vincent Chaperon, marking a new page in the history of brand.
It follows that 2008, a collaboration with Chaperon, will be the final vintage produced by Richard Geoffroy for Dom Pérignon. For the Champagne house, it will be a key turning point marking the final lesson from master to pupil, some 13 years after Vincent Chaperon’s recruitment. The new cellar master will inherit a triple brief: “to take charge of the material legacy of existing vintages, embody the vision of Dom Pérignon and its immaterial heritage … and safeguard the future commitment to vintage winemaking which is the raison d’être of Dom Pérignon,” according to the brand’s press release.
With regard to the wine itself, the 2008 vintage is remarkable in that the year was marked by gloomy weather, which suddenly brightened to glorious sunshine at harvest time. As a result, 2008 took longer to mature than, for example, Dom Pérignon 2009, which has already gone on sale. With a bouquet of notes of white flowers, citrus and stone fruits, the taste of 2008 is marked by accented acidity and strong aromatic persistence.
Dom Pérignon’s 2008 will be available from good wine shops this September. Price: 150 euros (160 for the gift-box version).