Saturday, June 17, 2006
Little Anton, Uncle Phyll & Dom Perignon
On June 14, 2006 I became an uncle! Well, an uncle-in-law if I wanted to get technical. Nevertheless, a very happy uncle-in-law! To commemorate the birth of my nephew, Anton, yesterday I brought over a 1998 Dom Perignon to the hospital room and drank with the baby's father, mother, my wife and all other immediate family members.
A perfect arrival required a decent Champagne!
TN: A way more-than-decent Champagne for a fine occasion! It tasted much better currently than the 1996 Dom Perignon I tasted a few months ago. Not because the '96 was less of a wine than its '98 sibling, but the '96 needed plenty of bottle aging to come around elegantly (crossing my fingers because I have several lying down for long-term keeping). The '98 had a lovely note of quince, citrus and minerality with fine bubbles and soft mousse. A classy wine.
Two noticable differences between the '96 and the '98 was that the former had more yeasty character and a more biting citric acidity. The latter, on the other hand, tasted rounder, softer and riper. In my opinion the '96 will age more gracefully than the '98 and will become more of a wine eventually.
As for yesterday, everybody enjoyed the '98 tremendously, and Anton would have too if he had had a sip.
4 stars (vg!)
On 1998 Perignon: "Pale yellow. An enticing blend of red berries, butter and toast on the nose; this settled down to an earthy, smoky character that reminded me of Batard-Montrachet. Full and rich, with flavors of musky yellow plum and ripe pear accented by crisp mineral notes. Really long and vibrant on the building finish, if not as precise or elegant as the 1996. Still, of the two vintages, this is the one I would prefer to drink over the next five or years or so." 93 points, Raynolds (Tanzer's IWC)
On 1996 Perignon: "I have had a lot of great vintages of Dom Perignon, but I do not remember any as impressive as the 1996. Even richer than the brilliant 1990, the 1996 is still tightly wound, but reveals tremendous aromatic intensity, offering hints of bread dough, Wheat Thins, tropical fruits, and roasted hazelnuts. Medium to full-bodied, with crisp acidity buttressing the wines wealth of fruit and intensity, it comes across as extraordinarly zesty, well-delineated, and incredibly long on the palate. Moet-Chandon deserves considerable accolades for this prodigious example of Dom Perignon. Anticipated maturity: now-2020+" 98 points, R. Parker, Wine Advocate