Friday, February 1, 2008

Review and Rating: **+ $$$$$ Dom Perignon, Vintage 1999, Champagne, France

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Moet and Chandon has been at the Dom Perignon game for over 70 years, and here we're trying the 1999 vintage.

In the glass, you notice a light yellow tone with a slight golden hue. The vista is interrupted by a single strand of fast moving bubbles. Aromas are of yeasty lemon.

On the palate, effervescence is the first note. The overall feel is dry, with acids moving up the side of your mouth. Dry citrus in style, with a relatively brief finish. I didn't see the elements that would suggest devotion, though I'm clearly outvoted by the experts on this assessment. I'm giving two stars because, although the experience was pleasant enough, I wasn't drawn back to another experience. A plus is added for the delicate balance.

Robert Parker (not in Wine Advocate, but in Hedonist's Gazette) rated it at a whopping 96 points and said, "I was fortunate to have the newly released 1999 Dom Perignon, which is a spectacular Champagne. Based on one bottle, I would not rate it as highly as the 1996 or 1990, but it is much better than the 1998, and appears to have more body and richness than the 1995, also a top-notch vintage. The 1999 should have at least 20 years of life ahead of it." So much for my concerns about aging.

But, all in all, in the Champagne category, I am drawn more to the Duval-Leroy Brut NV, at a significantly lower price point. I realize this review won't win friends, but it's just how I see it.

Sorry 'bout that, Dom.

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  1. You are right - this review will not win friends :-)

    I totally disagree with your review of the Dom Perignon 1999.

    In the September 2006 edition of the Danish food and wine magazine "gastro" I reviewed 37! vintages of Dom Perignon (1934 - 1998) after a two day tasting in Denmark and had a rather different experience with Dom Perignon "style". Unfortunately the 1999 Dom P. was not released at the time, but I have enjoyed it several times since.

    Perhaps you are just not fond of the "Dom Perignon style"? Since you compare the Dom with Duval Leroy Champagne (NV) which has a somewhat different style i reacon this must be the case...

    In my perception the '99 vintage has a wonderfull richness to it as well as full flavoured aromas of nuts, butter, citrus, caramel etc. the list goes on...
    On the finish a superb balance between fruit and tannins.
    However, I do agree in your cellaring advise - this Champange will keep developing over the next 20-25 years.

    PS. I highly recommend the crystal Champagne glasses from Richard Juhlin - author of the book "4000 Champagnes" - these glases adds whole new layers and complexity to the wine. Visit:

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  3. Thanks, JR, very thoughtful response. I did recognize the level of acclaim being given this wine before trying it. Still, in the review, I had to stay true to my palate. Your comments do make me want to return to it for another engagement in the future.

  4. I have a bottle of 2000 any one had it & is it as good as the 1999?