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Even if the legend that the Benedictine monk Dom Pierre Pérignon (1638-1715) invented champagne as a category by himself is untrue, what’s certain is that several elements of the methodology known today can be connected to him. The greatest winemaker-inventor of all time completed altogether 47 vintages at the Hautvillers Abbey. From the start, the basic principle has been that Dom Pérignon can only be made in the best vintages, thus, it can only be put on the market as a vintage champagne. Its base wine is always made by varying proportions of the two defining varieties, Pinot Noir and the Chardonnay, and bottle ageing always lasts for at least seven years. So unlike the other big houses, the cellar master here (until 2019 it was Richard Geoffroy) doesn’t follow a house style by blending lots of vintages and even more different base wines, but creates a new style in every vintage (if it proves to be good enough), in correspondence with the classic character of the house and the best qualities of the given vintage. 2010 was a controversial year, several of the big houses didn’t even present vintage wines but Dom Pérignon, with several sortings and in a small total quantity, created it anyway. The bottle is patinated like a piece of antique furniture. In the glass, it’s vibrant and full-of-life, with the house’s typical tropical fruit and mineral aromas, then a lean, layered and precise palate. Such is one of the biggest classics in the wine world.