Dull, grey skies were common during 2008, despite it being a year in a decade with plentiful and impressive amounts of sunshine. Spring and summer brought the same lack of sunlight and longing for high temperatures.
Just when the harvest was getting under way (15 September), weather conditions finally achieved perfection: blue skies and prolonged north-easterly winds. Picking was spread out over a long period to benefit from this positive turn of events. The grapes were riper than anyone dared hope and had truly outstanding balance. The vines were in perfect health.
On the nose
The opening bouquet is complex and luminous, a mingling of white flowers, citrus and stone fruit. The overall effect is enhanced by the freshness of aniseed and crushed mint. The final aromas are starting to show spicy, woody and roasted notes.
On the palate
After a long period of reluctance, this wine is finally opening up. There is complete balance between the nose and the palate. Its slender, minimalist, pure, toned, athletic character now also expresses itself with warmth. The fruit is pronounced and clear. The vintages characteristic acidity is incredibly well integrated in this wine. Its persistence is mainly aromatic, grey, smoky and highly promising
Wine Spectator 96
Dom PerignonView all from Dom Perignon
Dom Pérignon (1638–1715) was a monk and cellar master at the Benedictine abbey in Hautvillers. He pioneered a number of winemaking techniques around 1670--being the first to blend grapes in such a way as to improve the quality of wines, balance one element with another in order to make a better whole, and deal with a number of their imperfections; perfecting the art of producing clear white wines from black grapes by clever manipulation of the presses; enhancing the tendency of Champagne wines to retain their natural sugar in order to naturally induce secondary fermentation in the Spring; being a master at deciding when to bottle these wines in order to capture the bubble. He also introduced corks (instead of wood), which were fastened to bottles with hemp 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, more than a century after Dom Pérignon's death.