Inspired by a talented English wine publicist working for Moet et Chandon’s London agency, Simon Brothers, ‘Möet & Chandon Cuvée Dom Pérignon’ was the first luxury champagne of modern times and a stroke of pure marketing genius. ‘DP’ is a marvellously seamless blend of black and white grapes, a medium-weight champagne that stresses finesse and balance rather than power. With age, it takes on totally seductive aromas of toast, coffee and honey, developing one of the most intriguing scents in champagne. According to renowned champagne expert Tom Stevenson, “all vintages need at least 12 years’ aging to mature Dom Pérignon’s signature silky mousse”.
In 1935, each of the family descendants of Simon Brothers’ top English clients received a basket containing two sumptuous 19th century fashioned bottles of the 1926 vintage, sealed with wax and string. The customers’ reaction was so enthusiastic that Robert-Jean de Vogüé decided to employ the same tactic in the US (M&C’s other most important market). In November 1936, he sent 100 cases of the 1921 vintage to the US on the boat Normandie in similar bottles. Only produced in exceptional vintages, ‘Cuvée Dom Pérignon’ was reserved exclusively for the US market until 1947, and in 1959 was recognised by the world press as the most prestigious champagne in the world.
Such has been the success of this prestige champagne, that as of 2010, Dom Perignon is being spun off into a separate company and standalone brand. Moet et Chandon’s name has been completely removed from the bottle and the latest special edition features fluorescent labels in an homage to Andy Warhol.
Despite the challenges presented by staggering sales demand over the last twenty years, during his tenure as Dom Perignon’s chef de caves, the supremely skillful master blender Richard Geoffroy (former doctor and son of a local grape grower) has managed to create and maintain a distinctive yin/yang character in his wines. Dom Perignon is crafted to “hold the note” and maintain evenly distributed weight and intensity on the palate from start to finish. As a Champenois born and bred Richard maintains that the ultimate expression of champagne is an ethereal sensuality that discreetly make its presence strongly felt. No wonder James Bond loved Dom Perignon so much! Here’s Richard talking to Champagne Jayne TV about tasting Dom Perignon…
Meet The Champagne Makers Ep 4: Champagne Dom Perignon
Meet Richard Geoffroy – Chef de Caves at Dom Perignon since 1990 and a living legend in Champagne – often referred to by industry colleagues as “The Monk”. Richard takes Champagne Jayne TV through a tasting of 4 expressions of the world’s first prestige cuvee
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