Want to give your taste buds a sinful experience to remember? Fondly called the 02, this Dom Perignon vintage is here to tantalise you
By: Karishma Parkash
Posted on: June 10, 2011
“Life is short, and Dom Pérignon is all about creating fantastic moments in life,” said Mr Vincent Chaperon, Oenologist, Dom Pérignon. Having been with Dom for five years now, it has been the best experience for him - a little bit like falling in love. “Wine for me is important and stems from my roots and is a link to limitless learning and meeting new people,” he said.
A brand that is larger than life, and a bottle that creates a great ambience and brings people together creating ‘memories’ in life, the Dom Pérignon Vintage 2002 is one of Mr Chaperon’s favourite spirits. “Every vintage is like your own child and you like them all equally, but the 02 is special to me,” he added. In an exhilarating conversation with him over a glass of champagne, I shared his excitement of launching the vintage in India.
Having launched the Dom Pérignon Vintage 2002 recently in India this month, it was exciting to be one of the first people to personally taste the vintage myself. A small dinner with 40 people and Indian designer Tarun Tahiliani’s fashion magic kick started the launch of the vintage in Delhi, followed by another intimate gathering in Mumbai. “The experience has been different, of course, a huge contrast with our culture, but very interesting at the same time. The concept of champagne in India is comparatively newer than in other parts of the world. Educating them about our brand and about champagne has been interesting to say the least,” he fondly added.
He also pointed out that the well-travelled Indians were better versed with their brand and champagne. Not an Indian’s day to day drink, anyone who loves the ‘B’ of bubble is realising that Dom Pérignon is a very powerful brand. Justifying the price that they pay for every bottle, they are willing to explore the brand and it’s magic. “I explain to them that each bottle is a result of many years of sophistication, dedication and knowledge. We are trying to improve the quality generation after generation, but it all ultimately boils down to creation. Dom Pérignon started with a vision of monk years ago. His ability to walk years before his time earned him the title of ‘the father of champagne’. Creating a cuvee that is better with time, but is as close to the original cuvee as possible, is the challenge at hand and we strive to wow each time,” he said. And they do, don’t they?
Are Indians today sufficiently aware of the brand? “I’d say yes and no. Some of the most influential names in India drink our brand, but at the same time, there are people who are not fully aware of the brand. I’m not fully aware of how India is reacting because I’m not here all the time. But I see that there is interest and thirst for knowledge,” he explained.
The Pérignon way
Getting involved in the creation of the spirit automatically gets you attached to the vintage. “We don’t release a Dom Pérignon Vintage each year. When we do release a bottle, it means that it meets all our standards. Having said that, 2002 is kind of a special vintage because it’s one of the greatest vintages we have produced attributing it to perfect weather conditions leading up to the maturation period with good sun, no rain, no problems regarding the fruit – everything was the best,” he said.
Take a moment if you can and compare this vintage with the previous one. Though close to the previous vintage in terms of balance and aromatic expressions, 02 expresses the personality of Dom Pérignon in a more intense way. With a good ageing potential, the 02 promises to have a good life. Experience the mysteriousness and sensuality surrounding Dom Pérignon and take a few minutes to notice the shape of the bottle and the colour of the label which brings out the personality of the brand.
Dom Pérignon is powerful, global and everywhere. Confidently popular with nightclubs, restaurants and wine collectors alike, you will be quick to support the fact that the brand is subtle and balanced, with a playfulness that isn’t in your face. Mr Chaperon playfully added, “Sean Connery in the James Bond movie brings to life the DNA of the Dom brand. Dom is actually a drink for the king! So sip up and we are showing the world what champagne truly is!”
The ideal drinker of Dom is a sophisticated, powerful person. There is no particular sex that enjoys champagne more. In the past, there was a strong relationship between women and champagne. It was said to be the only alcoholic beverage that made women more beautiful. However, it is slowly been acknowledged that the personality and intensity of champagne can please men and women alike.
Two to 02
Some say that they eat to live, but I am one of those who live to eat. Having said that, I know you will agree on the importance of food. Mr Chaperon is no exception to that and said “I always say you can pair all kinds of food with this vintage. At Dom Pérignon, we understand the importance of the drink complimenting the food people are eating everyday! We keep in mind all kinds of foods from different countries. Dom has no rules and can explore all boundaries. We keep in mind all flavours and essences. For Indian cuisines, all kinds of spices are complimented by the vintage. We also serve few Indian dishes with champagne while entertaining people. For example, the Indian kulfi with mango slices is heavenly with the Dom Pérignon Rose 2000,” he said.
2002 is fruity on the nose and vibrant with citrus fruits like pear and peach. Mull it over and you will notice the minerality. The perfect maturation results in toastiness, smokiness and biscuit notes, but novices may find it hard to explore it initially. Wondering what makes a great wine perfect? “I’d say complexity. A great wine must show it and explore all layers of the vintage. Perfect the temperature between 8 and 10 degrees in a cool place and enjoy the classic between 10 and 12 degrees as it warms up in the glass. In warmer places, serve at a lower temperature. The glass is also important and a glass not too large works wonders. Go with a still white wine glass rather than a flute and allow this complex wine to breathe in the glass in order to develop fully,” he advised.
Priced at INR 16,000 per bottle and available at all leading hotels, nightclubs and wine retailers, it is officially time to be floored by this stunning vintage. Pop open a bottle at any moment, whether casual or formal and make a moment to remember!