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Found a bottle of champagne from 1991?

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1 review
Found a bottle of champagne from 1991?

My dad received a bottle of champagne from a company called Arvor in 1991, the company no longer exists. The champagne is made by mignon père & fils. Has anyone ever heard of this?

18 replies to this topic
London, United...
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10,994 posts
23 reviews
1. Re: Found a bottle of champagne from 1991?

http://www.mignon-pereetfils.com/accueil.html

Perpignan, France
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7,306 posts
103 reviews
2. Re: Found a bottle of champagne from 1991?

champagne-pierre-mignon.com/prehome-fr.php

Reading, United...
Level Contributor
1,005 posts
112 reviews
3. Re: Found a bottle of champagne from 1991?

The two links you have been sent are for different producers. There can be a number of independent producers using the same family name. The producer from the first link (Père et Fils - most likely the one) is based in the village of Venteuil. You should find the village on the front label. If not immediately obvious, look at the small print on the bottom of the label. This should help to narrow down your search.

Melbourne
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10,686 posts
147 reviews
4. Re: Found a bottle of champagne from 1991?

Has the champagne been consumed?

If you have had the bottle for 24 years the cork has probably let out the fizz

The champagne cork is mechanically only good for about 10 years

Yes you can get vintages that are decades old, but they will be stored with a crown seal cap, and corked when ready for sale...and again last for only 10 years-ish

Reading, United...
Level Contributor
1,005 posts
112 reviews
5. Re: Found a bottle of champagne from 1991?

Actually a cork can last much longer. Had an '85 Corbon two years which was superb and sealed with a natural cork.

How the wine is stored is extremely important as is the quality of the producer. If stored in a cellar and turned regularly and the champagne is from a good quality producer then there is a every chance the wine can last 20-30 years or more.

There are a lot of parameters affecting the longevity of the wine. I haven't personally heard of this particular Mignon (Christophe is superb). It may well be that this wine is well beyond its best...but there's only one way to tell - bottoms up!!!

Melbourne
Level Contributor
10,686 posts
147 reviews
6. Re: Found a bottle of champagne from 1991?

Yes, but had you had that bottle since 1985?

A reasonably reliable source writes:

---------

Unfortunately, Champagne does eventually go bad even if you have kept it unopened in the refrigerator (or in a cool and dry place), but it will take a number of years before that happens. This doesn’t mean it’s no longer safe to drink, it just means that it will lose its lovely bubblies.

For Vintage Champagnes you will generally have around 5-10 years before it starts to lose its fizz. Please note that this is from the date of purchase, and not from the date of Vintage that is displayed on the label of your bottle. Vintage Champagnes are typically aged in cellars for around 4 to 5 years before they hit the shelves.

Non-Vintage Champagnes will expire a little more quickly after around 3-4 years after purchase and are aged for 2 to 3 years before that before they are available for sale

Does Champagne Get Better as it Ages?

The general consensus is that, unlike red wines, Champagne does not get better with age after you have purchased it. This is especially true with Non-Vintage Champagnes. The reason is that if you leave it for too long, it will lose its bubbles. Isn’t that what ultimately makes Champagne so special? Champagne is typically ready to drink as soon as you buy it, and will normally have been aged for the appropriate number of years already beforehand.

Some argue that there are some Vintage Champagnes that do get better with age, as long as they are stored in a cool and dry place. Some can be aged for as much as 20 years and develop a more complex flavor and aroma profile. It is likely that most of the fizz would have disappeared at that stage though.

Melbourne
Level Contributor
10,686 posts
147 reviews
7. Re: Found a bottle of champagne from 1991?

Most people don't realise that the champagne cork is a plain cylinder (not a mushroom shape)

It becomes the mushroom when forced into the bottle neck

When removed, the cork can become a simple measure of how long the cork has been in the bottle

If the removed cork is sort-of triangular then it has been in the bottle for not much time (say a year)

If the cork is skinny with parallel sides, then it has been used for ten or more years and the champagne will have lost its fizz, and the cork is exhausted mechanically

If there is a shoulder part way down the cork stem, that indicates crudely by its position, how many of 1-9 years the cork has been in the bottle

This applies to Vintage and non-Vintage Champers equally

The fact that a bottle is dated 1985 does not mean the cork has been OK for 30 years.

For Vintage or regular Champagne to be perky after 30 years, the cork will have been put in after 2000 and the bottle stored well

At the Champagne houses (and before cork insertion) the bottle will be stored on its side, with a crown-seal cap (yes, a cap like an old style Coke cap but a bit bigger)

Reading, United...
Level Contributor
1,005 posts
112 reviews
8. Re: Found a bottle of champagne from 1991?

Not necessarily the case. Too many permutations to give an example to answer, it's not a simple science. To say NV starts to deteriorate so quickly is nonsense.

The Corbon would have been corked after disgorged entry around 1990. The cork was very narrow, as would be expected but in very good condition. The wine was superb, possibly due to the fact it did not undergo fining or filtering. As I say, too many permutations to give a hard and fast rule.

Two years ago had a 100% Meunier from 1964, under cork (admittedly stapled) since 1970. Excellent condition with fine mousse and extraordinary tertiary aromas. Had been in the producer's cellar though!

A champagne can improve with bottle age but it is dependent on how the wine was made, how good the initial wine or blend is and the quality of the winemaker. That said, if I don't know the winemaker, the provenance of the champagne and details of storage; then I wouldn't buy it.

Melbourne
Level Contributor
10,686 posts
147 reviews
9. Re: Found a bottle of champagne from 1991?

It's about the cork and the mechanical failure

It is not about the Vintage or Regular in the bottle : the cork is not clever enough to distinguish

Unless you can indicate that all Champagne houses use corks with superior mechanical properties for their Vintage Champagne....

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
28,827 posts
95 reviews
10. Re: Found a bottle of champagne from 1991?

It is not unusual for champagne to go bad in under 5 years if not stored impeccably; been there done that. It also ruins champagne to store it at refrigerator temperatures for long periods. A bottle owned since 1991 is almost certainly undrinkable although we hope you get a surprise and it is great.

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