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May 06, 2015

Dom Perignon 2005

DP (1)

We are delighted to be able to offer the new vintage of Dom Perignon, the 2005, a year and a half after the release of the 2004. The 2005 vintage across Europe was a warm one; in Champagne in particular it was marked by a warm growing season with little rain. A heatwave in August was then followed by a cool September. With favourable weather running up to harvest, ripeness was assured, beginning on September the 14th. Dom Perignon undertook drastic selection which ensured what they described as an exceptional quality of grape and never-before-seen aromatic maturity. Richard Juhlin (RJ) and Antonio Galloni (AG) agree, awarding the 2005 95 points.

What makes this release so interesting is that due to the restricted selection the 2005 vintage is approximately 75% smaller than in 2004. In fact the vintage is the smallest in Chef de Cave Richard Geoffroy’s tenure at Dom Perignon. Moreover, due the comparative minuscule quantity of the 2005 Dom Perignon’s release schedule is only going to be held for six months. It is rumored they will release a new vintage this year or in early 2016. As such the window for purchasing on release will be shorter and stock exhausted quickly. The large reduction in production also means the flood of supply seen with the 2004 vintage will not be apparent for the 2005. In fact Dom Perignon intend to raise their sale price on the 2005 from today’s opening release by 5% in the next two months. This will present short term pricing pressure and a more immediate investment potential than the 2004.

In 2005 the blend is special and distinct. It has the highest historical proportion of white grapes, with 60% Chardonnay providing added elegance and texture. While the 2005 may not have the very long ageing potential of the 2004 or 2002, it is overtly and powerfully floral, with lovely silky richness and grace.

As one can see from the table below Dom Perignon displays a vintage premium, getting more expensive as it ages and supply diminishes. For example the 1998 vintage, which is less heralded than the 2005, already costs £800 per case of six. As the 2005 vintage is the second smallest since 1971, attractive price appreciation can be expected. The 2005 will start appearing in department stores, restaurants and hotels in the next month.

table

‘Come quickly, I am tasting stars’ is the famed expression of a 17th century monk after his first taste of Champagne. The monk was Dom Perignon, the cellar master of the Benedictine Abbey, Hautvilliers. Diverging from common legend, he pioneered winemaking techniques such as blending grapes, the introduction cork and enhanced the use of natural sugar. He did not invent the Champagne method, the advent of which occurred naturally due to the cool winters and warm spring months in Champagne.

In 1937 Moet et Chandon purchased the eponymously named Dom Perignon from Eugene Mercier. This has become their prestige vintage Champagne, meaning it is not made in poor vintages and is matured for 3 years, opposed to non-vintage champagne which has the minimum requirement of 1.5 years. Dom Perignon has true global recognition, the 1981 vintage was served at Lady Diana and Prince Charles’ wedding, as well as the 2,500 year celebration of the Persian Empire. Dom Perignon’s assemblage is based on 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay and offers wonderful vibrancy and complexity as soon as it is released, incredible nuance and delicacy after 15-20 years and elegance and incredible layers after 30.

Dom Perignon 2005, 6×75 – £475 IB or £588.91 including Duty and VAT
Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media – 95 Points
“The 2005 Dom Pérignon opens with the classic Dom Pérignon bouquet. Warm toasty notes meld into expressive fruit in a supple, silky Champagne endowed with stunning depth, nuance and complexity. Sweet floral notes add lift as the wine opens up in the glass. Overall, the 2005 is a relatively delicate, gracious DP, but what it lacks in depth it more than makes up with persistence and its open, totally inviting personality. Today it’s hard to see the 2005 making old bones, but it is a gorgeous wine to drink while the 2004 ages. In 2005, the release is scheduled to last about six months, which means production is down around 50% over normal levels. All I can say is the 2005 is fabulous, especially in a vintage that required considerable sorting to eliminate rampant rot in the Pinots”.  95 pts AG 

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