Saturday, July 18, 2009

1996 Dom Perignon

For those of you who like the glamour’s side of Champagne I made the picture in a silky and flashy style – hope you like it. It took me a awful long time to get the end result ;-).

I guess I am the type of person who likes to dwell a bit over the evolvement of ones personal palate. I also know, by having conversations and discussions with other wines lovers - that the discussion can sometimes go in the direction of the ones who has “seen the light” and gained more palate wisdom, towards those who still drink “the same shit”. My good friend Anders said a right not so long ago – “wine is a journey, not a destination”.

However (You probably knew that it was time for the “however line”), drinking 1996 Dom Perignon makes me wonder what the hell I have been doing with my taste buds.

This Champagne is seriously problematic. In a recent wine debate I saw a taster slaughter 1996 Dom Perignon for it’s high dosage. For me this is not the real problem. Let’s investigate. I served it rather cold – and the opening was it’s best phase. Showed flowers, toast, vanilla, citrus and sour dough and having had my share of Dom Perignon in the past I would say that (I am a seriously not good at blind guessing) it’s typical Dom Perignon. With warmth in the glass it falls apart. It’s incredible how impure this Champagne is. The clarity is not existent and with air and warmth the next problem occurs – the staggering level of sulphur. Not only is sulphur an error, but also kills the wine ability to show life and energy. It’s really pronounced when it’s hits the tongue where fireworks in normal circumstances emerges, when we have a big wine in the glass. What I seriously don’t like is the way you end up chewing on the flavours, almost like a chewing gum is stuck on the back palate. Some would argue that it possess a long finish – yes….long and irritating with absolutely no freshness. The acidity is however high – which could prevail with time. But seriously, how can it ever be a great Champagne when the raw material is not there?

Tasted July-2009


Dan said...

Hi Thomas

Great picture :-)

I tried the Dom P 96 3 months ago. It was a good bottle and I liked it. As you say it should be easy to pick out in a blind tasting. Dom Perignon is made in a very special style which is almost the opposite of the champagnes you usually drink (and I drink too). I can see why it falls out. Anyway, it probably taste the same as when you liked it so it is good you recognize that your taste has been seriously f..... up... hahahah :-)

BTW the thing about it falls apart when it heats up. Is that really a problem?? I can see why it is plus that the champagne is still tasty when it is 25 degrees but usually you try to keep it close to serving temperature. Or at least I try. I mean you normally wouldn't judge a red wine at 30 degrees or a white wine at 25 degrees either.


Thomas said...

Hi Dan,

A real beautiful woman is not only good looking with make-up on ;-).

Serving temperature. Rested maybe, on one of these very warm July days, 10 minutes outside and hit the glasses around 6-8 degrees, where it did okay. “With warmth” means approaching a temperature of maybe 14-17 degrees and here it starts to fall apart. I would not even call it an experiment – just to provoke something.

I tend to drink these classic Champagnes out of the Zalto glass, as they can actually turn out fresher and don’t ooze so much of toast and vanilla. Here I also tried the Spiegelau “Adina”, just to test – talk about a bad choice. Here you got a one of a kind sulfur nightmare treatment and all of these impure notes got turbo powers ;-).

If I am to be wrong, which very well can be the case, then these dark irritating impure notes are where the youthful expression of Dom Perignon lies and they will prevail with time. Let’s put it this way – it has enough of sulfur to prevail and outlive you and I.



PS. Had 2004 Apôtre Friday – will publish a note this week.

Dan said...

Hi Thomas

sorry for the late response. I have been away for a week on holiday :-)

Well, your temperature sound perfectly normal of course. That is also the range that I normally drink my champagne. I thought perhaps you were grilling it on your barbeque :-) Come to think about it... when we had the 96 Dom P it was kept in an ice bucket so it was served around 6-8 degrees.

A travelling tips: when going to Cyprus it is entirely possible to take bottles of champagne in your suitcase without them suffering any heat damage :-) I packed 2 bottles and when I took them out of the suitcase at the hotel they were still around 20 degrees. :-)

Thomas said...

Welcome back, Dan.

Try to raise Dom P. to 14-17 degrees next time you try it.

Sounds good about the little traveling tip – I will keep it in mind when I go to Cyprus.



P.s. Think I will taste 2004 L'Apôtre again on Friday....going here for dinner with my wife.