Is Champagne from 1985 still good?

Answered by Louis Krause

As a sommelier and brewer, I can confidently say that from 1985, such as Dom Perignon, can still be good if stored properly in ideal conditions. The aging potential of Dom Perignon 1985 is estimated to be around 20-40 years, which means it can continue to develop and evolve in the bottle over time.

One important factor to consider when assessing the quality of an aged Champagne is how it has been stored. Champagne should be kept in a cool, dark, and humid environment, with a constant temperature of around 10-12 degrees Celsius (50-54 degrees Fahrenheit) and a humidity level of 70-80%. Fluctuations in temperature and exposure to light can negatively affect the 's flavor and aroma.

If the bottle has been stored under these optimal conditions, the Dom Perignon 1985 is likely to have matured gracefully and developed complex flavors and aromas. Over time, the Champagne undergoes a process known as autolysis, where the cells left in the bottle after the secondary fermentation break down and release compounds that contribute to the wine's distinctive characteristics.

When opening a bottle of Dom Perignon 1985, it is advisable to handle it with care and allow it to settle for a few minutes after being disturbed during transportation. This will help minimize any potential disruption to the sediment that may have formed over the years. Once opened, the Champagne should be served in appropriate glassware to fully appreciate its aromas and flavors.

When tasting an aged Champagne like Dom Perignon 1985, you can expect to find a complex bouquet of toasted bread, honey, dried fruits, and floral notes. The bubbles may be less pronounced compared to a younger Champagne, but the texture should still be creamy and elegant. The acidity should be well-integrated, providing balance and freshness to the wine.

It is important to note that not all Champagne vintages age the same way. Factors such as the quality of the vintage, the winemaking techniques employed, and the specific characteristics of the grapes used can all influence how well a Champagne will age. Therefore, it is always a good idea to research and consult experts or trusted sources to determine the aging potential of a particular vintage.

A bottle of Dom Perignon 1985 vintage Champagne can still be enjoyable and of high quality if stored properly. With an aging potential of 20-40 years, it is recommended to consume it by 2030 to fully appreciate its development and complexity. Remember to handle the bottle with care, serve it in appropriate glassware, and savor the unique flavors and aromas that an aged Champagne can offer.