Is Dom Perignon from 1988 still good?

Answered by Ian Ramirez

As an expert sommelier and brewer, I can confidently say that a bottle of 1988 Dom Perignon can still be an exceptional choice for a memorable experience. Dom Perignon is a renowned Champagne house, named after the Benedictine monk who is said to have invented . This particular vintage, from 1988, holds a special place in the history of Champagne production.

When assessing the quality of an aged Champagne like the 1988 Dom Perignon, there are several factors to consider. Firstly, the condition of the bottle is crucial. If the bottle has been properly stored in a cool, dark place with a consistent temperature, it greatly increases the chances of the Champagne aging gracefully. A well-preserved bottle will have maintained its integrity and potential for an enjoyable tasting experience.

Upon opening the bottle, you may notice a vibrant effervescence, with fine and persistent bubbles dancing in the glass. This is a testament to the quality of the Champagne and indicates that the carbonation has been well-preserved over the years. It is a delightful sight that adds to the overall sensory experience.

As you pour the Champagne into the glass, take a moment to observe its color. Aged Champagnes tend to develop a deeper golden hue, which can be a visually appealing attribute. The color change is a result of the wine's exposure to oxygen over time, and it often accompanies a more complex aroma and flavor profile.

Moving on to the aroma, a well-aged Dom Perignon from 1988 should offer a captivating bouquet. You may detect notes of toasted brioche, honey, dried fruits, and even hints of caramel. These aromas are a result of the wine's interaction with the during the aging process, as well as the development of secondary and tertiary flavors.

When it comes to taste, an aged Dom Perignon can still deliver a remarkable experience. The palate should showcase a harmonious balance between acidity and sweetness, with a creamy texture that is characteristic of well-made Champagnes. The flavors may include ripe orchard fruits, such as apple and pear, along with a touch of citrus and a subtle minerality that adds depth to the overall taste.

One of the standout qualities of a 1988 Dom Perignon is its ability to provide a lingering finish. The flavors and aromas should unfold gradually, leaving a lasting impression on the palate. This is what makes Champagne such a unique and cherished – the ability to “taste the stars,” as Dom Perignon himself famously said.

It is worth noting that while a well-preserved bottle of 1988 Dom Perignon can still offer an exquisite tasting experience, individual preferences may vary. Some may prefer the vibrancy and freshness of a younger Champagne, while others appreciate the complexity and depth that comes with age. It ultimately depends on personal taste and the occasion for which you are opening the bottle.

A bottle of 1988 Dom Perignon Champagne, if properly stored, can still be a remarkable choice for those seeking a memorable and refined tasting experience. Its well-preserved effervescence, complex aromas, balanced palate, and lingering finish make it a classic vintage from a renowned Champagne house. So, if you have the opportunity to savor a bottle of 1988 Dom Perignon, I highly recommend indulging in this exceptional Champagne and allowing its timeless beauty to unfold.