2008 was dominated by grey, overcast skies – an exception in a decade characterized by bold, generous sunshine. Just when the harvest was getting underway, the weather conditions were finally perfect: blue skies and prolonged north-northeasterly winds. The grapes were riper than anyone dared hope, and had truly outstanding balance. The vines were in perfect health.
To the bracing acidity, concision and aromatic purity expected of the 2008 vintage, Dom Pérignon adds depth, density and complexity. The light is warmer and less harsh.
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 offered by the wine are starting to show spicy, woody and roasted notes.
After a long period of reluctance, the wine is finally opening up. There is complete balance between the nose and the palate. Its slender, minimalist, pure, toned, athletic character is now also expressed with warmth. The fruit is pronounced and clear. The vintage's characteristic acidity is remarkably well integrated. Its persistence is mainly aromatic, grey, smoky and highly promising.
The wine enjoys duality: warmth & freshness, meat & iodine pairings, cooked & raw. Spices enhance and accentuate 2008’s effervescence and densify the wine. Dom Pérignon likes playful experiences: culinary art, textures, and matters.
COMMENTARY: Dom Pérignon—a luxury brand that needs no introduction—is going to get even better as it moves through the generational changes with the changing of the guard. While this wine has always sparkled in a class by itself since its inception in 1921, the soon-to-be-released 2008 vintage reflects a transition in the winery's Chef de Cave. After nearly three decades as Cellar Master, Richard Geoffroy is turning the reins over to Vincent Chaperon, and the new guy gets to begin his Dom Pérignon career with one of Champagne's best vintages. I enjoyed the fortune of tasting this wine twice (9/24/18 and 9/26/18). In the first tasting, the wine seemed young and impenetrable. Time aided it, and it opened up spectacularly. Two days later, in a new situation (and a different bottle, of course), the wine seemed to be even more evocative. In both cases, there is no question this is one of the winery's best efforts. I took more than my usual sips—studying a wine of this magnitude sometimes needs patience. TASTING NOTES. This wind deftly exhibits richness and elegance. Its aromas and flavors of bright apples, light chalk, and yeast autolysis come to the fore along with its and persistent, yet delicate palate presence and long finish should pair it superbly with the fresh toro you bring onto your palate. (Tasted: September 26, 2018, San Francisco, CA)
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.
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.
There's power to this graceful Champagne, with the vivid acidity swathed in a fine, creamy mousse and flavors of toasted brioche, kumquat, pastry cream, candied ginger and poached plum that dance across the palate. An underpinning of smoky mineral gains momentum on the lasting finish. Drink now through 2033.
The super-fresh nose combines notions of smoky flint, lemon and wet chalk, yet hints at generosity. Minuscule bubbles create immense creaminess on a palate that dances on its light feet and channels freshness into poise. There’s a promise of future richness and depth, always with ozone freshness and lasting length. Drinking Window 2020 - 2035
The finest release of this iconic cuvée since the 1996 vintage, the 2008 Dom Pérignon wafts from the glass with an incipiently complex bouquet of Meyer lemon, green apple, dried white flowers and oyster shell, with only subtle hints of the smoky, autolytic aromas that have been such a prominent signature of recent releases. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, deep and complete, its notable flesh and amplitude controlled by incisive acids, with a youthfully exuberant but elegant mousse and a long, beautifully delineated finish. Considering the sheer size of this cuvée, it's a remarkable achievement and a fitting release with which to conclude Richard Geoffroy's tenure as chef de cave. Given the 2008's intensity and balance, I suspect purists will be anticipating later disgorgements with lower dosage and more time on the lees with particular enthusiasm. Tasted three times, with consistent results.