To taste a Champaign, take flutes. This is the traditional to drink it but also the “close” top of the flute allows you to nose easier the aromas. I think it’s good to choose 2 very different Champaign brands : Moet Chandon, the most favorite Champaign all over the world, and Dom Perignon, the most Prestigious one.

Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial :

Color : pale yellow

Nose : fruity, fresh, green apple, lime

Palate : light acidity, lemon, grass, fresh fruits, white blossom Assemblage : 20 to 30% Chardonnay, 30 to 40 % Pinot Meunier, 30 to 40% Pinot Noir

Pairing : Mixed salads, plates of seafood, oysters, white fish, raw or slightly cooked, dumplings, poached or roasted white meat, in light sauces. Accompany with narrow, cabbage, cauliflower, rice or artichokes, slightly sweet fresh fruits. Sushi - sashimi very good matching.

Moet & Chandon Rose Imperial :

Color : Pink with shades of copper

Nose : Expressive aromas, wild strawberries and redcurrant dominate, hints of pepper

Palate : Attack with vibrance smokiness and fruitiness, tender structure in mid-palate, fresh and supple finish
Assemblage : 10 to 20 % Chardonnay, 20 to 30 % Pinot Meunier, 50 to 60% Pinot Noir, 15 to 20% red wine

Pairing : Grilled shellfish, coloured fish, oily and even strong-flavoured, as a carpaccio in olive oil, marinated, grilled or fried, red meat and poultry, raw to tender, light meat juices.

Moet & Chandon Nectar Imperial :
Color : Deep gold

Nose : fruity and very sweet

Palate : mellow, silky attack. Sugar, vanilla, pineapple, banana.

Assemblage : Demi sec quality. (>15g of sugar)

Pairing : desserts, pudding, apple pie, tarts, even foie gras.

Moet & Chandon 1999 Vintage :

Color : pale gold

Nose : peach, pear, dried fruits

Palate : apricot, minerals, hints of toasted and malt notes. Long aftertaste.

Assemblage : 31 % Chardonnay, 38 % Pinot Noir and 31 % Pinot Meunier

Moet & Chandon 1999 vintage Rose :

Color : salmon pink

Nose : cherry aromas

Palate : Wild Strawberry and cherry aromas; nuances of citrus fruits, combined with smoky and sweet spice notes. Long aftertaste.

Assemblage : Chardonnay: 26 %, Pinot Noir: 48 %, Pinot Meunier: 26 %.

Dom Perignon 1996 Rose :

Color : Copper with orange highlights

Nose : malt, well ripened fruits, nectarine and wild strawberries, smoky

Palate : strenght, tense, radiant and sharp. The finish is firm, with a slightly vanilla-spicy note. Assemblage : 38% Chardonnay - 62% Pinot Noir

The influence of the 1996 Vintage : For all the connoisseurs, 1996 is the best vintage of the decade. Most of them even think it’s the best vintage ever. “The best vintage” means that the natural conditions (wind, sun, rain, humidity …) allowed the grape to give its best. The beginning of the year was very difficult. For example, we recorded - 20oC the 22nd of February. (it happened in 1985, 1951, as well), so only the best and the strongest grapes could resist such low Temperatures. The summer weather was capricious too and the wet periods did not compensate for the early lack of rain. But the heat in the months preceding the harvest, allowed an exceptional maturity of the grapes, featured by a rare balance between power and acidity. Dom Perignon started the harvest the 14th of September.

Dom Perignon 1998 :

Color : Pale yellow with golden highlights.

Nose : fresh almond and grapefruit, cashew nut and spices, toasted brioche.

Palate : Satiny texture, caressing. The persistence is remarkable, with the slightest undertone of tartness (citrus zest and buds.)
Assemblage : 60% Chardonnay - 40% Pinot Noir

The influence of the 1998 Vintage : The year was full of contrasts. For example, the 13th of May, we recorded almost 30 oC in some plots of Champagne Region, and 10 days after, the 23rd of May, it frizzed. (we had a comparable situation in 1921 and in 1873). The year featured two unusual and contrasting weather : Record high temperatures in August followed by exceptional rainfall in the first half of September. Patience prevailed at harvest and was rewarded by a period of miraculously good weather resulting in healthy, especially well-ripened grapes.

Dom Perignon 1999 :

Color : Deep gold

Nose : full of life, angelica, dried flowers, pineapple, coconut, cinnamon, cocoa and tobacco. Palate : earthy, smoky, peppery spice, fruity, exotic maturity, aniseed.

The influence of the 1999 Vintage : Changeable, often unexpected, weather. Average temperatures were high and a very dry period gave way to almost tropical conditions in late summer, with strong winds and frequent hailstorms. Due to the high humidity and the warm temperatures, it was a tropical year (very rare in France). The wine making team was not sure to harvest (Dom Perignon only harvests during exceptional year), but the 14th of September, a heavy wind allowed the grape to dry and the DP harvest team to pick the grape.


The others ...

Dom Pérignon 1969

Quite simply the best champagne I have tasted. A lucsious amber/lemon hue with still a little mousse. The nose is an astounding array of sweet tangerine, honey with brilliant definition. I could smell this all day. The palate is always perfectly balanced with off-the-scale refinement. A slightly honeyed, minerally mid-palate with a touch of apricot and whipped cream on the end. Quintessential champagne.

Dom Pérignon 1970

What could be a more suitable champagne to propose with than vintage Dom Pérignon? A moderately deep golden colour indicates its age, though not excessively dark in hue. A vibrant, complex nose of pear, almond, marzipan and butter. Incredibly vibrant and fresh. The palate has superb acidity, quite nutty and citrousy; sweet but honeyed. Still vigorous and vibrant though it lacks the sophistication and poise of the 1969. At its peak now. Delicious.

Dom Pérignon 1983

Tasted from a magnum. A similar colour to the 1970 tasted a couple of weeks previously. The nose is still evolving: oyster sheels, lemon zest. Still quite backward in my opinion. The palate has superb definition, vibrant and quite yeasty and minerally. This needs another 5 years to develop more complex aromas and flavours like the 1969 and 1970. Still an excellent champagne though.

Dom Pérignon 1985

Greeny gold hue. An aromatic herbaceous nose. Quite green but very complex. Palate is rich and fresh with notes of grass, apple and honey. This is a big, flamboyant champagne. Very long although the 1990 has a bit more style in my humble opinion.

Dom Pérignon 1990

A very youthful appearance. The nose is like a flower unfurling, still closed but eventually revealing apples, green fruits, minerals and a little brioche. Intense complex minerally palate. Great nervosity: sophisticated and elegant. So refined with great length. Superb.
Dom Pérignon Oenothèque 1990 Moderate greeny gold hue. The is still quite closed, but very well-dfined with minerals, hazelnuts and banana-skin. The palate is very ripe with a lovely nervosity. A slight honeyish mid-palate, very refined but still very backward. Very intense finish. This will be amazing with some bottle aging.

Dom Pérignon Oenothèque 1992

A greeny/lemon hue. A lovely, deep, slightly honeyed nose with scents of coconut and almonds. The palate is quite steely, reserved at first, taking time to reveal lemon, crisp green apples with a long steely finish. Very fine, though probably needed more time in the glass to open up.
Dom Pérignon 1993 A divine creamy, almost yeasty nose with a touch of walnut. Very fine nervosity on the palate, vibrant, citrus acidity. Steel on the mid-palate. Elegant but powerful. I doubt it will last as long as other vintages but for now this is a delicious champagne to celebrate with.

Dom Pérignon 1995

Very ripe creamy nose. Perhaps too much oak here. Palate though is very smooth and stylish. Good weight. Not complex but effortless drinking now. Excellent.

Dom Pérignon Rosé 1995

Just a divine apricot and rosewater tinged nose with awesome definition and clarity. The palate is finely balanced with peach and white flower notes. Very fine acidity and a crisp wild-strawberry tinged finish. Still does not justify the exhorbitant price, but I cannot deny the quality of this champagne. Drink over 5-8 years.

Back to Menu