2008 Dom Perignon

We reviewed the iconic 2008 Dom Perignon for you

The 2008 Dom Perignon is something of a catch, sought after by wine collectors and investors, and relished by the connoisseurs. Its excellent reputation is a result of the fine quality of vintage as well as the coveted Dom Perignon brand.

What makes Dom Perignon a coveted brand

Dom Perignon is not a grand cru label. And yet, it ranks among the finest champagne brands in the world. This is in part because it is a vintage-only brand, which limits the quantity of the champagne, driving up its exclusivity. But the excellence of the brand is mainly due to its quality. Each vintage is produced from the best grapes cultivated in a single year and aged for at least eight years before release.  Exceptional care is taken in their cultivation, harvesting, and production. All vintages are characterized by a subtle balance of richness and lightness, vibrancy, and intensity.

What sets apart the 2008 Dom Perignon

2008 produced a miracle harvest in Champagne. It had been a grey and gloomy season – a cold spring followed by a cool summer – but the weather cleared for the harvest in September, and the sunny skies and north-easterly winds contributed to excellent vines. The perfectly ripened grapes produced a crisp acidity and aromatic purity that defied expectations.

But there’s more than one thing that makes the 2008 Dom Perignon unique. The 2008 was the first vintage released out of sequence, later than the 2009 release, because the winemakers felt it wanted more time to develop. This vintage marks the end of an era and the beginning of another – that of Vincent Chaperon taking over as Chef de Cave from Richard Geoffroy. It was released in a gift box packaging in 2018, with the unique label of a ‘Legacy Edition’ and bears the names of both Chef de Caves.

Breaking down the tasting notes

The 2008 Dom Perignon is a medley of flavours and aromas, which work together like magic to produce a slender and pure wine, effervescent with minuscule bubbles. The opening notes are complex and luminous, with aromas of white blossoms, stone fruits, and citrus. There are unmistakable initial hints of smoky flint, lemon zest, and wet chalk. This is lifted by the freshness of wood and spice notes – think mint and aniseed.

The flavours on the palate are of fresh fruits, dominantly pear and citrus, and underlying notes of toasty brioche, candied ginger, oyster shell, and pastry cream. There’s more! Beyond its colour of pale straw in the glass, there’s a creamy mousse and a hint of future richness to this medium to full-bodied fine wine.  

Indeed, the cuvée is expected to age beautifully for many years to come and promises to develop more elegant notes – more toasty, buttery nuttiness – with time. Even now, the first release is prime for drinking and can be had until 2058 or be held, but the second and third releases of the vintage will be worth watching out for!

As for pairing, serve the 2008 with spicy food that is hot and fresh, which helps enhance the wine’s effervescence and intensity.

The 2008 Dom Perignon is a worthy investment

As you would expect, the 2008 Dom Perignon is a sought-after investment choice in the fine wine world. Investor interest drove up the prices by 26% within a year from 2020 to 2021, indicating a strong positive price trend. 

A well-preserved bottle in perfect condition is a low-risk age-worthy investment that will prove to be profitable once the availability of the vintage dwindles in the market and the prices soar.

Adding to its investment value is the fact that critics have unequivocally lauded the 2008 Dom Perignon, awarding it 98 points on average. Robert Parker, in Wine Advocate, regarded it as the finest Dom Perignon release since its iconic 1996 vintage. Incidentally, both Geoffroy and Chaperon, the Chef de Caves, have compared the 2008 vintage to 1996, with the former noting that the 2008 had “muscle”.  

The 2008 Dom Perignon is a terrific champagne indeed, a subtle powerhouse in a bottle. It is a well-rounded and incredibly rich experience for the senses that begins with fireworks and culminates with a sophisticated, smooth finish. It drinks well now but promises to get even better with age! Interested in other Dom Perignon vintages? Check out our review of the 2000 Dom Perignon.


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