You’re going to hear a lot more of the word plénitude. Meaning “the quality or state of being full”, it is now the name of Dom Pérignon’s late-release wine, previously known as Oenothèque. While Dom Pérignon has always been the result of a single vintage, the plénitude editions are staggered releases of the same vintage which have been aged longer by the company in its chalk cellars in Epernay. According to the house, each plénitude represents a window of opportunity where the wine sings higher and stronger, as determined by Chef de Cave Richard Geoffroy. The first plénitude is reached after at least seven years of maturation on its lees (the spent yeast cells that are responsible for the biscuity notes of mature champagne). This is embodied in the Dom Pérignon Vintage champagne, a perfect plénitude of harmony.
The Second Plénitude of Dom Pérignon Vintage 1998 was recently revealed in Singapore, representing 16 years of aging. Here the wine reveals a burst of energy, with more focused aromas and a penetrating intensity. The packaging has also been refreshed with a brushed aluminium box and a deep matte label that oozes chic sophistication. Prepare to pay slightly more than double the price of the Dom Pérignon Vintage 2004 to obtain this exceptional wine.
With the new plénitude programme, it is likely that the house will reserve more of its stocks to be released later, resulting in less of the Vintage, or P1, champagnes. The first P3s, from the 1970 and 1982 vintages are expected to be released later this year and represent more than 20 years of maturation on the lees.
Words by Chek Wong.
Chek Wong is a wine writer, educator and judge based in Singapore. He runs a blog ateclaircissage.blogspot.com where he pens down his musings on developments in the wine world. Chek has contributed to various print and online publications including Appetite, Cuisine & Wine Asia, Spirito diVino Asia, Palace Magazine and The Local Nose.com. In 2012, Chek was a guest judge at the inaugural Decanter Asia Wine Awards, formed with the goal of recognising wines aimed specifically at the Asian market.