2008 was dominated by grey, overcast skies – an exception in a decade characterized by bold, generous sunshine. Spring and summer brought the same lack of sunlight and absence of high temperatures. It was September that saved the vintage, belatedly and miraculously. Just when the harvest was getting underway (on September 15), the weather conditions were finally perfect: blue skies and prolonged north-northeasterly winds. Picking was spread out over a long period in order to benefit from this positive turn of events. The grapes were riper than anyone dared hope, and had truly outstanding balance. The vines were in perfect health.
The opening bouquet is complex and luminous, a mingling of white flowers, citrus and stone fruit. The overall effect is enhanced by the freshness of aniseed and crushed mint. The final aromas offered by the wine are starting to show spicy, woody and roasted notes.
After a long period of reluctance, the wine is finally opening up. There is complete balance between the nose and the palate. Its slender, minimalist, pure, toned, athletic character is now also expressed with warmth. The fruit is pronounced and clear. The vintage's characteristic acidity is remarkably well integrated. Its persistence is mainly aromatic, grey, smoky and highly promising.
98 pts by Antonio Galloni
The 2008 Dom Pérignon is fabulous, but quite remarkably, it was even more open when I tasted it a year ago. Bright, focused and crystalline in its precision, the 2008 is going to need a number of years before it is at its best. Lemon peel, white flowers, mint and white pepper give the 2008 its chiseled, bright profile. Several recent bottles have all been magnificent. What I admire most about the 2008 is the way it shows all the focus, translucence and energy that is such a signature of the year, and yet it is also remarkably deep and vertical. In other words, the 2008 is a Champagne that plays in three dimensions.