Most bottles of Dom Pérignon are released eight to 10 years after the grapes were harvested — called the “first plenitude” — but a few of its champagnes are sent out 15 to 16 years after the vintage — the “second plenitude.” “The first plenitude represents a state of completeness, a platform of harmony,” Richard Geoffroy, the head of Dom Pérignon, told The New York Times in 2014. “The second is energy, radiance, vibrancy, precision.” If you have a bottle from the first plenitude and want to turn it into the second, recreate the conditions Dom Pérignon uses in its own cellars.
If you want to create a second plenitude that’s as close to the original as possible, use a wine locker to control the conditions throughout the life of the bottle. If you have your own or are considering buying one, remember that Dom Pérignon is best kept at a steady 52 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit in a spot that’s dark, free of odors and moderately humid — 55 to 75 percent; ensure that your locker can recreate these conditions.
Many cities have wine locker rental spaces, a good option if you don’t have the space, money or habit necessary for your own locker. The fee per month usually starts at around $30 for 10 to 12 bottles, at the time of publication.
If you’re not worried about creating the exact conditions of Dom Pérignon’s cellars, storing your bottles on a shelf might be OK, but keep these points in mind:
- Ensure that your storage space is dark, odorless and around 52 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit — and that it has humidity levels between 55 and 75 percent.
- A basement or dark, empty room of your home is the best option.
- If your climate varies drastically from season to season, it will be difficult to maintain these conditions in a single spot year-round; move the bottles to a different area based on the temperature and humidity levels of that area during a particular season.
Store the bottles on their sides to prevent the cork from drying out during aging.
It’s OK to store bottles of Dom Pérignon in the fridge for one week to two months, but no longer, and again, only if you can create the optimal conditions — 52 to 59 degrees and 55 to 75 percent humidity in a dark, odorless spot. It will be hard to satisfy those last two conditions if you use your regular fridge, so ideally, try using a small bar fridge or larger fridge that you don’t open or use often.