About the 96 Oenotheque, from Chef de Cave Richard Geoffrey. "(an) ‘intriguing combination of flavours from a super ripe year, and acidity from a not so ripe year all in one. All 1996s are known for their high acidity, this is marginally on the high side, but not extreme. This is as challenging to Dom Perignon as it can be but it’s packed with serious flavours - sombre characteristics, starting with the minerality, then toast and smoke then iodine - almost a sea breeze. All vintages of DP will be of the standard of Oenotheque at some stage,’ This is the one salient quality of DP. They may not be released in chronological order, but they will all be part of the Oenotheque at some stage in their life cycle. Dom Perignon is never released unless it has the potential for ageing to Oenotheque’
Moët et Chandon’s, long history dates back to 1743 when a wine trader by the name of Claude Moët began selling Champagne; first to France, and later across Europe. As the company’s fortunes increased, so vineyard acquisitions were made. In 1792 these included the vineyards of the Abbey de Hautvillers, where a certain Benedictine Monk had spent a number of years improving Champagne winemaking techniques. It wasn’t until 1842 that Moet marketed its first vintage, taking things one step further in 1921 with the first release under the ultra-prestige Dom Perignon label. A fitting tribute, albeit 150 odd years late, to the monk who had dedicated so many years to the understanding of Champagne excellence. The quality of Champagne released under the Dom Perignon label has seldom been in doubt, only produced as a vintage cuvee and only in vintages deemed high enough quality. The 2004 vintage marks the 40th release since 1921. In 1959 a vintage Rose was added to the range, and more recently the house has begun releasing the spellbinding late disgorged Oenotheque wines.
Champagne is the world's original and most famous region for the production of sparkling wine. A range of styles are produced from the Non-Vintage, through Rose, Vintage and more recently a host of prestige, Vintage luxury cuvees. The three permitted grape varieties are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.