Three 1996s from Dom Perignon are special. After having compared original releases and OEnotheque bottlings across a number of vintages going back to 1964, I am increasingly of the belief that the most enjoyable Dom Perignons are impeccably stored bottles of the original release. The 1996 Dom Perignon Rose is simply off the charts. What a wine. The 1996 Rose has begun to fill out rather dramatically. Today it is rich, powerful and totally seductive. (AG)
Bright, amber-tinged pink with pinpoint bubbles. Deep, smoky and complex, with a kaleidoscopic bouquet incorporating wild strawberry, peach, apricot, chestnut honey and cured meat. A firm, strikingly concentrated midweight with powerful flavors of orange peel, raspberry, redcurrant, baking spice and smoked meat and gentle supporting acidity.
Woodland strawberry scents drive this powerful rosé, as intense as a great red Burgundy, made transparent by the chalk soils in which it grew. The fine mousse lifts spicy scents of sandalwood, the long finish starts out dark-toned, growing brighter with air. Tight and young, this is a beautiful, floral Pinot Noir that carries the essence of Champagne.
This is going to be a great wine: going to be, because it is still firm, dry, serious and very pure with structure over the red fruits and acidity. Give this wine another five years at least—and then it will be both impressive and delicious. *Editors' Choice*
Another example of this era, the 1996 Dom Pérignon Rosé offers plenty of energy and tension, both signatures of the vintage. At the same time, though, the fruit never fills out, which tilts the balance to acidity and austerity. Frankly, I liked the 1996 more when it was younger. Today, the fruit has either begun to drop out or is simply less expressive. I look forward to checking in on the 1996 soon to see if this may have been a less than perfect example. Disgorged 2004. (AG)
Quite vivid pale tomato colour. Edge of smokiness on the nose – woodsmoke? Definite Pinot Noir character. A hint of black fruit flavours but still quite tight. Much broader than the regular ‘white’ version. Some floweriness. Needs time. 17.5/20 points.
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