Aged for nearly two decades, Dom Perignon P2 boasts of intensity, vibrance, and a magnificent energy.

Many oenophiles are of the opinion that few things are better than a wine that has aged beautifully, its character and flavour transformed into something more sumptuous, even sublime. We at Philippine Tatler recently sampled such a wine for ourselves thanks to an invitation to visit the Dom Perignon estates in France that was cordially extended by Moet Hennessy’s Olga Azarcon and her team.

For the oenologists and vintners at Dom Perignon, one of the most recognised names in Champagne, time is a key driver when it comes to creating a great wine. It is the catalyst behind an active maturation process that gives great Champagne its characteristic effervescence. By allowing the wine to age a little longer, the various elements incorporated during the blending process undergo a transformation, resulting in a wine that is intense and vibrant, with an unusual crispness and vigour that comes as a delightful revelation to those drinking it.

Such is the case of the P2, the Plénitude Deuxieme or second Plénitude of Dom Perignon’s Vintage 2000. It is a wine that has been tempered by time to become bold and dynamic; deliciously complex and forward with regard to both nose and palate.

“The energy of the second Plénitude magnifies the most outstanding features of the wine,” declares Dom Perignon chef de cave Richard Geoffroy. “[The] P2 2000 has all the boldness of a coherence that is clearly defined yet elusive at the same time.”

To understand the appeal of the P2, one must first take a closer look at the Vintage 2000 and the 2000 Brut which was first disgorged in 2008 and is now considered one of Dom Perignon’s classic vintages. The grapes for the 2000—a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay—were harvested at a time when there were challenging contrasts between the warm and cold seasons. Summer in France that year uncharacteristically inclement, but brightened up towards the end of August and remained sunny up to the harvest in mid-September. This had significant impact on the overall quality of the wine.

 

The depth of the Vintage 2000 featured contrasting aspects that were constantly evolving: freshness and ripeness, effervescence and harmony, crispness and languor, as well as austerity and exuberance. Embodying the timeless Dom Perignon character—full-bodied, sensual, and balanced—this was a vintage that set the standard for other wines throughout the last decade. The first Plénitude, the 2000 Brut, came as a surprise to many oenophiles who did not expect a wine aged for eight years to taste so fresh and crisp.

Geoffroy notes that many people are unaware that the best Champagne can improve when aged for even longer than 20 years. Aged Champagne makes for less than one per cent of total production, as the greater majority are made to be drunk whilst young, light, and fresh. But some premium vintage bottles can be aged for decades to reach prime perfection.

 

Tatler Asia
Tatler Asia

An additional decade on the lees makes the P2 a wine that surpasses its initial balance. With a fuller body than the 2000 Brut, it gives the impression of being more complete and harmonious, exuding an added complexity that makes it both surprising and intriguing.

It is a wine whose taste and aroma resonate with robust ingredients and dishes that are not normally paired with Champagne. Its additional time on the lees makes it more intense, even creamy, with a pro ounced roundness.

The P2’s bouquet is lush, ripe, and lively. The toasty aromas of cut hay and brioche come to the fore, followed by the bittersweet nuances of bergamot orange, plum, and dark cherry. The overall fragrance profile comes off as smoky with a hint of mineral and iodine.

On the palate, the P2’s complexity is more tactile than plump, with an understated viscosity that fits gracefully around the contours of the wine. Its length holds an exquisite bitterness that calls to mind sap with a touch of liquorice and toasted malt. This makes it stand up well to being paired with richer, stronger flavours in food.

As such, the P2 is a wine that stands up well to hearty red meats or richer, bolder-flavoured seafood. It is a great match for a robust beef stock or ravioli made with whelks or oysters, shellfish with a somewhat briny, slightly bitter flavour profile. But to bring out the wine’s full character, it is perhaps best to draw it out through rich, complete meals. It holds up well against fried artichokes and poached sea bass; the touch of earthy ripeness of a peach saladand the saltiness of kombu kelp; even an amuse bouche of caviar on grilled potato.

To experience Dom Perignon P2 2000 is to sip a wine that is playful, fascinating, and seductive all at once. Indeed, one who tastes the P2 becomes easily caught up in its charm—and is completely beguiled by its intense energy. Certainly not a wine for the faint of heart, but one for those open to discovering new experiences from great classics.

© 2022 Tatler Asia Limited. All rights reserved.