I don't drink Dom Perignon as much as I'd like to, and frankly the wine confuses me a little. I don't drink it because it's expensive, and it confuses me because while I have this aversion to wines produced in bulk by international conglomerates, in this case, by LVMH, which produces everything from Bordeaux to wrist watches, I'm never sure what to expect, which is odd from the stately old Dom because the wine almost always tastes the same to me.
Older vintages like the 1990 and 1993 have been enjoyable, subtle, but ultimately sterile. There was nothing "wow' about them. The 1999 is different. Chardonnay on the nose, chardonnay on the palate, chardonnay chardonnay chardonnay. It's light, with very light citrus and floral notes, but this is wine to me first and foremost, not Champagne, not sparkling wine, not a consumer product, not a brand, it's just a pleasing wine tonight, and I'm relieved, because this is what I think I've always hoped for Dom Perignon.
The packaging, too, is gorgeous - a plain black box with the logo and the vintage printed on it - but I don't know why the marketing geniuses at LVMH feel the need to include inside the gift box a pamphlet filled with pictures of beautiful people sitting around doing nothing. The wine is good enough to stand alone, and it should.
(Upgraded from three stars to four stars - 9/26/08.)