The 2012 vintage has a great reputation but it surmounted all sorts of challenges: frost in winter and spring, torrential rains, hailstorms and cold spells while the vines were flowering, plus intense heatwaves during the summer – but at least these last left the grapes healthy. Harvest stretched from 10 to 26 September. As usual, they are tight-lipped about the exact composition of the blend. Classic lemon-zest and tension nose that I associate with Dom Pérignon, but with extra weight and depth. And quite marked phenolics on the end which suggest this will have a remarkably long life. And, as Vincent Chaperon readily admitted, will definitely show up as a P2 star. Clean and neat and with light smokiness on the finish. Dom P always plays the reduction card. Hugely impressive persistence. Still a baby.
Anticipated maturity: 2021-2033
Robert Parker 96
The 2012 Dom Perignon has turned out very well indeed, unwinding in the glass with notes of Anjou pear, smoke, toasted nuts, freshly baked bread and crisp stone fruit. Medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, it’s still tightly wound, its incipiently fleshy core of fruit framed by racy acids and chalky grip, complemented by a classy pinpoint mousse. A touch drier and a touch less reductive than the 2008 out of the gates, these two vintages are clearly destined to be compared for some time to come; but at this early stage, my instinct is that the 2012 will have the edge in the long term.
Anticipated maturity: 2023-2050