Dom Pérignon VintageCategory: Champagne, Champagne Vintage
The 1996 Harvest.
The year was full of contrasts and the summer changeable, with the wetter periods never quite making up for the earlier hydric deficit. Eventually, in the month before grape-picking (16 September), it was as much the spells of hot weather as the influence of north-easterly winds that led to the original maturity of the vintage.
On the nose: The praline rapidly combines with citron and dried figs. Darker underlying iodine and peaty notes also emerge.
On the palate: There is an apparent paradox, with concentration and movement vying for ascendancy. The structure of the wine is tense and assertive. Its energy, almost tactile, is contained for a moment before vibrating and exploding. Its opulence then becomes superbly persistent, trenchant and persuasive.