Dom Perignon 2006: a generous vintage
By Panos Kakaviatos for wine-chronicles.com
16 April 2016
Dom Perignon. The abbey at Hautvillers. When I visited back in 2014, I had an amazing vertical, reaching back to 1969, my notes were published by Harpers Wine & Spirit.
Dom Perignon can be really delicious. I like it most in vintages with extra briskness, like 1996, 2002 and 2004.
I was particularly happy to have purchased a bottle of Dom Perignon 2006 at Oslo airport late last year, after having tasted with fellow #winelovers Christer Byklum and Roger Kolbu.
The advantage of alcohol monopolies such as that in Norway is that the tax rate is the same for all wines, so more expensive wines are taxed just as much as less expensive wines. The result? Dom Perignon 2006 cost me €99, all taxes included. Yep. I need to get back to Oslo, just to buy a few more bottles.
Finances aside, how is Dom Perignon 2006?
Well, let’s begin with what the official press kit stresses (here a partial link from their website), that the climate has continued to warm gradually since the 1990s: global climate change. For the moment, the benefits of a warming trend for Champagne are “unanimously recognized,” according to the press kit.
“In addition to more regular yields, we have also seen an improvement in ripeness and vineyard conditions. Of this unprecedented series of five vintage champagnes, four were harvested at a stage of intense ripeness. Such frequency has not been reported in more than three hundred years of champagne harvests.”
Indeed, the press kit vintage distinguishes “extreme ripeness” in the context of climate change as either “solemn” or “generous”. Where is 2006? For me, the 2006 falls more into the “generous” category, as opposed to, say, 2004 or 2002. In this sense, 2006 reminds me a bit of the 2000 vintage. It is delicious, opulent, but perhaps lacks the verve and precision of 2004.
As for the growing season, 2006, although climatically irregular, was overall hot and dry. A July heatwave was followed by a cool and humid August. But then September was almost summery and dried out patches of botrytis while also maturing the grapes far more than usual. The harvest began on September 11 and lasted nearly four weeks.
So I recommend Dom Perignon 2006. Especially when you can buy it from places like Oslo airport.