Last night I was fortunate enough to attend a wine dinner which included not only some legendary and rare bottles, but a number of not yet released Dom Perignon’s. On top of that we were treated to several Dom Perignon Oenotheque magnums that have never been or will ever be commercially released.
In between we drank a complete vertical of Collina Rionda including a 1990 Collina Rionda Riserva Black Label with insight from Antonio G and Mannie B who not only brought incredibly rare wines , but also shed light on the wines like nobody else can.
As great as the wines were, the best part of the evening was the non-stop laughter with Richard Geoffroy on both the giving and receiving ends of the good natured insults that were lobbed back and forth across the table throughout the evening.
No joke though was the insane generosity of all of the attendees, especially Richard Geoffroy and Laurent Boidevezi who brought mags of DP Oeno that nobody else in the world could bring but them.
Thanks to Airplane Eddie, Country Squires CK and the Secretary of Defense, THE Hillbilly and the Evictor for their bottles too.
Ok, so enough of my Academy Award like acceptance speech, however it truly is an honor and a privilege to eat and drink with such fine people.
Hopefully the ban that Richard placed on the Hillbilly from ever entering the limits of Epernay again does not include anyone else at the table, especially me
On to the juice - or at least part one for now - the Dom Perignon. I’ll write up the Collina Rionda’s as well as a blind flight of three Roagna Vigna Riondas and an Italian Merlot the name of which currently escapes me, a second blind flight of '90 Ponsot CdlR, '78 Landonne '90 DRC Richebourg as well as a bottle of’21 Y’quem later today after my two 2am martini’s (definitely not my brightest move) wear off
2002 Dom Perignon - to be released this fall, it’s clearly the best vintage of DP since '96 and while I currently like the '96 more than this, I like the '02 better at the same point in their evolutions. Smoky, creamy DP style is stamped on it. I can see this moving up to Staggering in a few years but for now Excellent
1996 Dom Perignon Oenotheque 2008 Disgorgement another release scheduled for the fall this had the slightly sweet freshly disgorged Oeno aromas but the low dosage is apparent on the palate and the finish. This needs a bit more time in the bottle and then the '95 vs '96 Oeno face offs can begin. Another rating surely to move up done the road Excellent plus
2000 Dom Perignon Rose - so while the first two DP’s were a bit too youthful this is, as I mentioned in my notes from the other night, very approachable and an excellent short term (ten year drinking window is my guess) Rose. Plenty of juicy fruit with melons, including watermelons on the palate. They just have to keep the pricing right on this release. Excellent
1990 Dom Perignon Rose Oenotheque 2008 Disgorgement obviously Richard Geoffroy and the folks at DP know what they are doing with their release dates because this is also could use just a bit more time in bottle to show its best. Not as forthcoming as the '00 this is a much more structured and substantial wine than its ten year younger sibling. Will be great to watch this develop over the next few years. Excellent plus
1990 Dom Perignon Rose Mag - well, no need to keep your hands off this to maximize enjoyment because this is in a great place right now. Bold and structured with a wealth of red pinot fruit, but the wine is also very classy and elegant in style. Has a great finish that gives you the desire to go back to the glass for some more as soon as possible. Staggering
1969 Dom Perignon Oenotheque 2006 Disgorgement - I need to drink this wine and the '05 disgorgement of the '75 Oeno side by side to see which wine is the greatest DP Oeno ever made. I’m betting on this one. This was better than the bottle a few of us shared at Marea last week, but I still think it was a slight notch below the mesmerizing bottle at the La Tache vertical six months ago. Honey, ambrosia, marshmallow and a touch of espresso along with great yellow fruit. A touch of smoke and a round creamy palate with perfect acidic structure on the finish. Killer
1971 Dom Perignon Oenotheque Magnum 2006 Disgorgement - so right before this was opened a few of us were telling Ruchard how we prefer good examples of the original disgorgement of '71 to the '71 Oeno bottles we have had. This gets poured and the Evictor says " see what we mean" to which Richard frowns and says, this is not a perfect magnum and says, " good thing I have another! " . NR
1971 Dom Perignon Oenotheque Magnum 2006 Disgorgement well this was definitely a step up from the previous magnum with more fruit on the palate and more oomph on the finish. Staggering
1973 Dom Perignon Oenotheque Magnum 2006 Disgorgement a touch of coffee and a more creamy texture bring this up a level above the previous magnum Staggering plus
1975 Dom Perignon Oenotheque Magnum 2009 Disgorgement I was jokingly giving Richard a hard time for bringing such a recent disgorgement, but truth be told this was a bit too youthful. However, it did have a very similar nose to the '05 disgorgement of this wine back in 2008. Had that slight mintiness with the baseball card next to the stick of bubble gum fresh out of the pack aroma to it. Great smoke on the nose as well. Staggering
1971 Dom Perignon - freshly unwrapped from its tissue, this was lights out. I’m not sure it was “better” than the second mag of '71 Oeno, but for current consumption it was more complex with a melody of mature champagne flavor and vibrant effervescence. Examples like this bottle surely have a couple of decades of perfect drinking to them. Staggering plus
1973 Dom Perignon - from Lord Litchfield’s cellar. No tissue and clearly the Lord’s cellar had high humidity based on the erosion of the label. He also must have had a chilly cellar because all of the bottles that I’ve tasted have been incredibly youthful. Staggering plus
1973 Dom Perignon Oenotheque Magnum 1999 Disgorgement Extremely youthful, hard to believe it was almost forty years old with over 10 years post disgorgement bottle age to it. I’d say this was a magnum that had it been drunk by itself would have brought great pleasure, but it gets slightly lost in the mix on this night with this company. Staggering minus
1973 Dom Perignon Oenotheque 1999 Disgorgement I almost always prefer mags over 750ml’s especially when it come to champagne but I give the slight nod to this bottle over the previous mag. A notch more complexity than the mag. A rare case where the magnum format worked against a 37 year old wine. Staggering
1973 Dom Perignon RD 1995 Disgorgement one of my least favorites of the night. Didn’t have the freshness nor the complexity of flavors to it that all of the other wines had at least one of. Excellent minus
1975 Dom Perignon Oenotheque 2007 Disgorgement - there was supposed to be a 2005 disgorgement to go side by side with this disgorgement but some not to be named person whose moniker’s initials are AE screwed up
I’m not sure if I was getting accustomed to recent disgorgements over the course of the evening, but this didn’t seem as “fresh” as the first bottle of this disgorgement which I consumed last month. And I mean less fresh in a good way. Once again the sweet minty profile shows up and then the creamy texture on the palate. How Richard gets the consistency to his wines considering the volume produced is truly unbelievable. Staggering
1975 Dom Perignon Oenotheque 2007 Disgorgement This was slightly better than the previous bottle. Not drunk side by side, the slight difference would never get picked up, but it was there. Staggering plus
1976 Dom Perignon Magnum - another perfect magnum of an original release. Drinking all of these wines side by side I’m going to say, that aside from the '69, '75 and '95 Oeno’s, while I love the more consistent hit ratio of the Oeno’s, perfect examples of original releases are more to my liking due to the complexity of the mature flavors. At least at their current levels of maturity. This was a classic DP. Killer minus
1976 Dom Perignon Oenotheque 1999 Disgorgement - slightly corked NR
I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have attended a number of phenomenal wine dinners, but this dinner is on a very short list of the best ones in my life.