Wine in China: Would you please describe the definition of “Plentitude” for us ?
Richard Geoffroy: I think, first of all, you have to understand the meaning and specificity of Vintage Champagne. Only if one has got a good understanding of Vintage Champage, can they perceive the profound meaning of Plentitude, because Vintage Champagne is the best translation of the essence of Dom Périgon.
As the pilot in making Vintage Champagne, the essence of Dom Périgon lies in its creativity, and the essence of Vintage Champagne is that the wine come from a particular single year. We have the a firm belief in making the best Vintage Champagne in the best vintage. For Dom Périgon， the most important part is the perfect interpretation of each vintag, which makes every Vintage Champagne unique and distinctive，thus，the excellent quality of Dom Périgon is explained through each one and only Vintage Champagne. During the winemaking process of Dom Périgon champagne, the seemingly unfavorable conditions tend to end up in marvelous wines. This is also the significance of embracing challenges. By confronting and conquering those challenges, you get to realize self-growth and self-sublimation. If you are always living in a easy and comfort zone, you will be satisfied with the status quo. It applies to every one of us, and it is also our philosophy. Here comes the concept of “Recreation” . Every Vintage Champagne has been through a process of “Recreation”. Every Dom Périgon Vintage Champagne comes from the best grapes of a single year, and that year has to be examined strictly in order to be recognized as the best vintage. If the quality of the grapes don’t meet the criteria of Dom Périgon, Vintage Champagne would not be made. I think this is the spirit of uncompromisingness.
What needs to explain is about “the first Plentitude”. It takes at least 8 years on lees to reach the first Plentitude. This is when the real Vintage Champagne is produced. Some people claim that we should name the Vintage Champagne at this period as “ The First Plentitude” for consistency. However, I don’t agree. Just as I have just said, I believe Vintage Champagne is the symbolization of Dom Périgon, we insist on displaying the glamour of each vintage. This belongs to the values of Dom Périgon Vintage Champagne.
Wine in China: Sixteen years ago, you had already visionally started the preparations for the arrival of “The Second Plentitude”. What made you decide to challenge the limits?
Richard Geoffroy: I have to say that it all happened naturally. During the process of making and blending every Vintage Champagne, our objective is to give it the potential to go through three Plentitudes. Winemakers of Dom Périgon never force to make changes because it is an uncertainty. The so called Creation, is the birth of surprises. When we make Vintage Champagne, as long as the relative indicators meet our standards, we will have full confidence in the selected vintage. Moreover, We also have full confidence in our vineyards and our winemaking techniques, and firmly believe that our exquisite winemaking skills are able to interpret the uniqueness and extraordinary glamor of a particular vintage. After visiting many vineyards, I have got a full understanding of the nature of wine. Therefore, as early as 16 years ago, I was sure that vintage champagne would go through three Plentitudes. I think it would be ridiculous if Dom Périgon Vintage Champagne do not go through the Plentitude. To me, only the Vintage Champagne with potential for evolving can be given the title Vintage Champagne.
Wine in China: Do you think your personal experience has any similarity with the evolvement of The Second Plentitude or The Third Plentitude?
Richard Geoffroy: Indeed, there is a certain similarity. I used to major in Medicine, and I learned to know evolution is an inevitable course. And our planet, including everything in our planet is organic. The process of evolvement is not a straight line, not even a curve a with a fixed radian. i think evolvement it self is rolling and implicit, even vanishes in time. It is just my personal theory, but I do think it has substantive meaning. I call it The Critical Theory. The evolvement is invisible to the eye, it unveils itself step by step through every effort you have put in it.
While Dom Périgon wine going through the Plentitude, the yeasts are also maturing in a delicate and lively way. The taste of The Second Plentitude undoubtedly has ascended to a new level, the long-lasting aroma releases in layers, displaying the natural glamor of the wine. I think accuracy is a way how things present themselves. The perfumed mouthfeel of Dom Périgon originates in the the accurate and rigorous winemaking philosophy, and this accuracy is demonstrated in the delicately balanced wines.