Just returned from a two week support bubble stay with my mother in the Lakes. After my father’s death five years ago my mam hasn’t bought any fine wines (though still a happy TWS active member). There are a few good looking 2009 CNDPs and that is about it. I found two very dusty bottles of NV Champagne which are at least five years old probably more. Does the collective wisdom of the Community have any ideas if they will still be drinkable?
I would imagine they are not worth much money so there’s only one way to find out! What’s the worst that could happen?
Very drinkable I’d say, based on previous experience with long-cellared Waitrose own label NV.
They may be flat, or flattish and have taken on some colour. Some ‘farmyard’ notes may be evident on the nose. Don’t hesitate.
I had a similar experience with some 5 year+ NV champagne recently and it was delicious. The autolytic notes were very much enhanced and it was lovely and toasty.
I’m pretty sure one of these was a Morrison’s supermarket stocked brand. Go for it, nothing to lose although I can’t imagine they will offer too much complexity and the fruit may have dissipated by now .
Agreed with all the above. If the corks have held they could be delicious.
Mature champagne is not an improvement to everyone’s taste, so it’s an inexpensive way of finding out your reactions. I love it.
If you should stumble across a bottle that has gone excessively “chocolaty” (a surprisingly apt description), bear in mind you can back-blend it with a bottle of young immature cheapish champagne. The net result tastes remarkably expensive! You do of course have to have a chilled bottle on standby.
Some years ago, I came across a couple of M&S Oudinot NV bottles that were at least 4 years old.
They were so good and brought about my policy of rotating Bolly over 3 years cellaring, to produce something markedly different to “fresh” bottles. Yes, it does require patience and discipline, but once you get to year 4; boy will you be pleased with yourself!
If you are not sure, then tuck one bottle away, having marked the label as to when you started your own experiment.
I, invariably buy a case of Bolly NV at the Society from their Christmas offer. Normally around £199 per 6 bottle case, can be a tad lower.
Old Champagne used to be sold as a speciality, often as much as 20 years after bottling. Rich flavour but flat or almost flat so in my sales days we had to check that every customer understood that and didn’t try bringing back the empty bottle for a free replacement as it had lost its bubbles!
I like the idea of a blend of old and new! Christmas will be our next visit so an appropriate time for experimentation.
Thanks for all the comments and encouragement. @Leah there is Morrison’s in nearby Penrith so that makes sense.
While we are on the subject, Aldi’s “Veuve Monsigny” champagne used to be one of the most dramatic ways to demonstrate the effects of maturing champagne. In this case, only one year was needed to bring about dramatic (and positive) changes.
This may well still be the case - it still comes from the same producer I believe - it’s just that I haven’t bought any for a couple of years.
I echo the encouragement already given: open and enjoy. The best bottle of Moet I’ve had was from a wine rack where it had suffered goodness knows how many years of neglect. It had lost some fizz and freshness yet gained delicious nutty, buttery complexity. If the corks remain compact after opening you know they’ve been in the bottle for some time. I hope you enjoy them.
Completely agree with all the above but why stop at champagne? I kept a bottle of Graham Beck from my wedding in 2012 and opened it 5 years later by accident (we buy it quite regularly) - appley and delicious!
Back in internet range and as an unwelcome surprise returned home to tier 4. Anyway, an update on this thread. On Christmas morning we opened one of the old 5+ year NV champagnes and it was ok, drinkable flavour wise but a little lacking in bubble and oomph. We opened a new bottle of NV champagne from Morrison’s which got a good write up in December’s edition of Which? Adrien Chopin. It was ok, certainly much livelier and sharper in flavour. Just ok, nothing special for us. And so the blending began and was a complete success with all three of us - me, Mr JayKay and Mrs JayKay Senior- all agreeing that the sum of the parts was well in excess of those parts tasted separately. What a revelation! Thank you @Ghost-of-Mr-Tallis for the suggestion to mix the two. It resulted in a mature but lively drink with a lovely depth of flavour. With two bottles and only three drinkers we were able to experiment across a number of glasses and two days. Half and half proved the optimal combo for these bottles:slightly_smiling_face:
How fortunate. Did that mean that both bottles got finished at the same time, with maximum enjoyment?
Very pleasing! It’s a trick well worth remembering.
Been into the deepest darkest corner of storage to pull out a bottle of JPS champagne this bottle came from presentation at JPS British GP 1977 given to my wife as thanks . Shall open it for her birthday this week, have taken ghost of Tallis advice and put a bottle of Castelnau ready for refurb, feel certain it will be required. Great idea. If I can find someone to send photo shall do.
Wow that is indeed a venerable bottle. Look forward to your report on blending for the birthday girl:clinking_glasses: