Dom Perignon Plenitude 2 Vintage 2002
Courtesy of Dom Perignon
“What I discovered about aging is the more you advance in time, the further you want to go back in your past,” says Vincent Chaperon, Chef de Cave at Dom Pérignon. Despite growing up in Bordeaux, and spending summers at his grandmother’s wine estate, he wasn’t particularly interested in wine, or the family’s history, until later in life. After harvests in Chile, and a few years in Portugal, he got his winemaking start in Champagne, working his way up to the top position at the prestigious champagne house. With the recent release of the Dom Pérignon Plénitude 2 Vintage 2002, we discussed what aging and maturation means to the brand’s Plénitude series.
What is Plénitude, and why do you want it in your champagne?
For a long time the winemakers at Dom Pérignon observed that wines in the cellar kept in contact with the lees (the residual yeast left over from fermentation) were not simply aging, but maturing. They developed complexity in a mysterious, unpredictable way.
The intimate contact with the lees was transforming it — they are progressively melting into the wine, leaving new aromas and textures. The balance was being reshuffled. But the change was erratic, it does not happen gradually over time — instead there are suddenly great changes at different times.
And those times are the Plénitudes?
Yes. Every Dom Pérignon goes through three main windows of expression. The first plénitude is the harmony. We want our wine to reach that balance and integration