~ the words supposedly uttered by Dom Pérignon at the moment when he discovered Champagne
In our auction of Fine and Rare Wine and Spirits on 23 February, we are pleased to be offering a selection of champagne, including vintages from Dom Pérignon. Here Mark Robertson, Dreweatts Senior Wine Consultant, tells us more about this fascinating character, vineyard and wine.
Whenever I read about Dom Pérignon, the Benedictine monk, I have always felt that his heart was never fully in his chosen profession. One can imagine many raised eyebrows at the Abbey of Hautvillers, as he was rushing late into prayer with muddy hands and wine stained lips. For that time old question of who you would have to a historical dinner party, I would sit him awkwardly between Jesus and Winston Churchill.
The English and French can share the spoils of the invention of Champagne. The science, glass and thirst came from England; the wine from France with Dom Pérignon, pioneering the vineyard work, method, and blending. It was the original entente cordiale and although we still had 200 years of fisticuffs and a lot of Gin, Champagne became the lubricant of our friendship and remains.
Only 45 vintages of Dom Pérignon have ever been made. Having been served at the 2500 year celebration of the Persian empire and at the marriage of King Charles III to Princess Diana, despite both not ending as planned, it is a testament to the gravitas of this great wine. With 5 million bottles made every year, the pleasure it must have created is incalculable.
We have recently consigned a collection of Dom Pérignon from an Oxfordshire cellar. My eye was caught by these two exciting magnums of the 1966 vintage (Lots 5 & 6). One is so used to seeing that mature hue on wines of this age, but the clarity, mousse and sparkle is quite sensational. Wow! These must be one of the last of these magnums in the world and it is a privilege to offer them in such condition and give someone the opportunity to enjoy them. I would even suggest storing them well for another 3 years to be opened for that 60-year anniversary.
We offer them separately to give more than one person the opportunity to drink them. There are multiple bottles and magnums of other vintages, and of course many other wines from all over the world and across the ages, so don’t forget to check out the rest of the sale. There are so many memories to be cherished… Enjoy!
Thursday 23 February | 10.30am GMT
Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2JE
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