When I got my hands on this bottle of Dom Pérignon 1990, I knew exactly the occasion to save it for. I planned on sharing it with my BFF Maritza for her birthday since it was her birth year wine. Unfortunately her birthday was back in December when I had a terrible stomach flu which was followed by her surgery and recovery, so it took longer than I expected to pop this baby. But this past weekend, we finally had the chance to celebrate at Tigre.
Dom Pérignon was named after a 17th-century Benedictine monk who lived in the Abbey of Hautvillers, where he was also the cellar master. He believed that hard work brought a monk closer to God, which ignited his dream of creating “the best wine in the world.” He was an important quality pioneer for Champagne wine.
Dom Pérignon is always a vintage wine and can only be produced from the grapes of a single year, whatever the challenges, even if this means accepting that in some years a vintage will not be declared. They only create vintage wines and only the best grapes from the most exceptional years are used, making each vintage distinct.
Notes about the 1990 harvest:
After a particularly rapid spurt in vegetation growth, the Champagne region is hit hard by spring frosts in April. Blossoming is therefore difficult in the cold and rainy conditions. Blossom drop and uneven grape development are only compensated by the large number of bunches and the wide branches. A heat wave summer then sets in and remains until the generous downpours in the days leading up to the harvest, (on September 11). The musts boast an exceptional composition and homogenous quality; throughout the Champagne region.
I was a bit worried about this one because even though it was stored perfectly in a temperature-controlled wine cellar, there’s always some level of a gamble when you deal with older vintages. It could be totally corked. I used a white wine glass for the tasting so I could really dive into the aromas and my friends had champagne flutes, which I used as an opportunity to take a better look at the bubbles.
This wine is a blend of 47% Pinot Noir (15% of which was added as still red wine), 31% Chardonnay, and 22% Pinot Meunier. It was too dark to take a proper look at the color, but it was a shade of golden yellow. It had tiny persistent bubbles. There were notes of baked apple, citrus, dried apricot, honey, and toasted brioche. It was dry with nice acidity and a long finish. The bursts of the bubbles coated my tongue. It was still very alive and very much kicking. It was absolutely a treat and I wish I had another bottle.
We enjoyed the delicious Champagne with variety of appetizers: Tuna tartare with beet-strawberry-tomato gazpacho, roasted macadamia, aioli; Swiss chard, kale & aged gouda buñuelos; and creamy blue crab croquettes with tomatillo salsa verde.
Many different bottles and dishes later, we were still dreaming of that Dom. If you ever have the chance to try it, do not sleep on it.