The story of Dom Pérignon Vintage 2006 is a story of patience and confidence, with parallel trajectories in the vineyard and in the cellar. Taking our time was the great challenge of 2006, to give ourselves the freedom to create the vintage.
The climate of 2006 was overall hot and dry albeit irregular, with three phases over the summer: first a heatwave in July, then a sudden slowdown with a cool and humid month of August, and finally an improvement in September to which I can say we owe the vintage. The inertia of the heatwave was strong enough to guarantee remarkable ripeness, but only for those patient and discerning enough to wait until the perfect moment to harvest. As a consequence the harvest lasted nearly four weeks, one of the longest on record.
In the cellar, the maturation of Dom Pérignon 2006 vintage was slow, very slow—even slower than usual. The first signs of Plénitude didn’t appear until very late, and it was not until 2015 that the comprehensiveness and harmony of the first Plénitude were finally revealed. Time didn’t matter: we felt as confident in the vines reaching full ripeness as in the wine entering its first Plénitude.
Time is of the essence: this is as true in the vineyard as it is in the cellar. Time is not predictable: it is organic, active, and energetic. Time flows at its own non-linear pace: a constraint that needs to be transcended to open new spaces for creativity. My work as a chef de cave is to witness the action of time, to enable it to reach its full course, and to pass down this knowledge to the future generations of chefs de cave at Dom Pérignon.