The 2008 Dom Pérignon is fabulous, but quite remarkably, it was even more open when I tasted it a year ago. Bright, focused and crystalline in its precision, the 2008 is going to need a number of years before it is at its best. Lemon peel, white flowers, mint and white pepper give the 2008 its chiseled, bright profile. Several recent bottles have all been magnificent. What I admire most about the 2008 is the way it shows all the focus, translucence and energy that is such a signature of the year, and yet it is also remarkably deep and vertical. In other words, the 2008 is a Champagne that plays in three dimensions.
The 2008 Dom Pérignon continues to show very well, offering up a pretty bouquet of Anjou pear, fresh peach, citrus oil, fresh pastry, smoke and iodine. On the palate, it's full-bodied, lively and incisive, with an elegantly textural attack and a creamy core of fruit that's underpinned by a bright but nicely integrated spine of acidity. The finish is long, saline and well-defined. As I wrote earlier this year, this is the finest Dom Pérignon since 1996, Richard Geoffroy's push for additional ripeness working well with the late-maturing, high-acid vintage. While it can be appreciated young, the 2008 will really start to blossom with five or six years of bottle age.
A bright and pale straw colour in the glass, this is pure lemon pith, struck flint and fresh bread on the nose - very youthful, vibrant and tight. The palate reveals much more, with toasty, smoky complexity pairing with a powerful, dense core of ripe lemon fruit. The fine, yet creamy mousse adds more weight, but there is superb precision with fresh but balancing acidity and rich notes of brioche from the time on lees. Despite the intensity of flavour there is great focus - with a linear drive through to a very long finish that is full of citrus, white flowers, and creamy lees flavour. An absolute knockout champagne that could be Dom Perignon's best of the 21st Century.
The best Dom since 2002. A vintage with very restrained, powerful style that has been released non-sequentially after the 2009. This has a lighter stamp of highly curated, autolytic, toasty aromas than many recent releases. Instead, this delivers super fresh and intense aromas of lemons, grapefruit and blood-orange peel. Incredible freshness here. The palate has a very smoothly delivered, berry-pastry thread with light, sweet spices, stone fruit and fine citrus fruit. This really delivers. Drink now or hold.
Brisk, tiny mousse. Notably rich nose - very Dom P! There's a hint of something marine on the nose (Michael Broadbent's oyster shells?) and then extremely tight and lacy - it somehow reminded me of a sponge because of springy texture. Masses of energy here, as well as the usual flirtatiousness. It will continue to open out, I'm sure. I tasted it very cool and then went back to it at almost room temperature a couple of hours later and it stood up extremely well. The official Geoffroy description of this vintage is 'athletic' and 'vertical'. 'All 2008s are bright in terms of fruit; we want ours to shine white light. We have deliberately warmed it up a bit, working on the muscle to better integrate the acidity.
The 2008 Dom Pérignon is the first time the estate has released a wine out of order (the 2009 was released before the 2008) but the estate loved the wine so much they felt it warranted additional aging. This is a rich, powerful wine that still shows incredible purity and elegance, with a stacked, concentrated feel on the palate. It’s rare to find such a mix of ripe, pure, concentrated fruit paired with this level of purity, focus, and precision. This is a legendary Dom that surpasses all the great vintages of Dom I have experience with, including the 1990, 1996, and 2002.