What makes Dom Perignon's style so consistent over the decades ?

Archived discussion threads with Richard Geoffroy of Dom Perigon, held September 13-20, 2010
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R@y.Tupp@+sch
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What makes Dom Perignon's style so consistent over the decades ?

#1 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch » September 13th, 2010, 9:30 am

Richard,

Great to see you on this board. We should all be flattered that you agreed to participate and take some of your valuable time out for us.

If you had to pick the most important element that gives Dom Perignon such a consistency of style over the past four plus decades would it be

1) The winemaking
2) Quality of owned vineyards and long-term contracts with growers
3) Your cultivated yeasts
4) Other

Also, please email me yearly production levels of Dom Perignon at your earliest convenience. [basic-smile.gif]

PS - Had two fantastic magnums of DP this past weekend. An original release '59 and a '75 which was disgorged in '99. Both were staggering.
Killer, Staggering, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor ®

Richard Geoffroy
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Location: Hautvillers, France

Re: What makes Dom Perignon's style so consistent over the decades ?

#2 Post by Richard Geoffroy » September 19th, 2010, 8:07 am

Hi Ray,

The true secret of what I would call the resilience of the style is to be found in the incredible diversity, quality and complementarity of our vineyards. One has to know that we mostly use estate fruit, and that the contract fruit is only marginal. In particular I have the privilege to access the 17 Grands Crus of Champagne mostly through vineyards we own. This brings the range of possibilities while blending to another level, allowing me to achieve such a consistency of the style while letting the character of the vintage shine through.

I'm glad you liked the magnums of Original release '59 and '75—I have actually never tasted the '59 Original release in magnum! Staggering is ok, I would have hoped for a Killer Plus! [wow.gif]

Best regards,
Richard

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Re: What makes Dom Perignon's style so consistent over the decades ?

#3 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch » September 19th, 2010, 12:44 pm

Richard,

Truth be told, if I were to "rate" those two mags, I would give the '59 "Killer" and the '75 "Killer minus".

Thanks for your reply and especially for your email with the production numbers. Very interesting. [shock.gif]

Be well.

Regards,

Ray
Killer, Staggering, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor ®

JMunro
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Re: What makes Dom Perignon's style so consistent over the decades ?

#4 Post by JMunro » September 20th, 2010, 7:37 pm

Mr. Richard Geoffroy,

Can you give us rough hint of the assemblage of Dom Perignon in terms of break down of varietals? Is it roughly 1/3 distribution between Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, or more weighted towards one varietal or another? I can imagine that from vintage to vintage it varies, but any hints as to rough break down?

Thanks,

JQ
Jeff

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Re: What makes Dom Perignon's style so consistent over the decades ?

#5 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch » September 21st, 2010, 5:35 am

Hopefully Richard will comment even though it is past his agreed to time frame but my understanding is that it is closer to 50/50 Pinot Noir/Chard but as you mention, varies depending on the vintage.
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Richard Geoffroy
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Location: Hautvillers, France

Re: What makes Dom Perignon's style so consistent over the decades ?

#6 Post by Richard Geoffroy » September 21st, 2010, 9:53 am

Jeff, Ray,

As explained in the Manifesto, we strive to reach the perfect balance between black and white grapes, between Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Pinot Meunier is never used. You will find more information in my blog entry about the assemblage, with even a few specific examples for various vintages.

Best regards,
Richard

JMunro
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Re: What makes Dom Perignon's style so consistent over the decades ?

#7 Post by JMunro » September 21st, 2010, 5:57 pm

It's interesting that there is no Pinot Meunier used. I wonder if this helps a bit with having a consistent style from year to year, even with aged bottles of Dom Perignon.
Jeff

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