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Nov 24, 2013 08:20 PM


I just came across a bottle of Perrier-Jouet Brut Fleur de Champagne 1995. Any opinions as to whether I could serve on Thanksgiving with no problem? Not sure how long champagne lasts. Thanks!

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  1. I've enjoyed many old bottles of Perrier-Jouet, typically going back 20 to 30 years. Notice how the flavors of the champagne have deepened, and have more heft, enough substance to stand up to a veal chop or roast fowl. The wine's color will be darker and the bubbles slightly less pronounced, but I'm guessing -- if the bottle has been stored properly, that it will great.

    Be prepared that this will not taste like a citrusy light Champagne, and may have oxidation or madeirization. Provided that that is not too far along, it may taste wonderful, like good aged Champagne should.

    If you're at all uncertain about the bottle's storage, hope for the best, and plan for the worse (have a backup bottle of bubbly handy).

    Also, once you open, drink it quickly. Sometimes these older bottles last only 30 minutes or so after opening, so pour it all around, offer a toast, and drink up. Good luck.

    6 Replies
    1. re: maria lorraine

      Don't know if this will be allowed but here's a picture of something we own. Guy Buffet did this for the 100th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower.

      1. re: c oliver

        Someone posted a Guy Buffet above and the chateau they have a lot of original G. Buffets and period furnishings. So they lock you in if you stay there.

        Anyhow, If it has been stored adequately it will be fine. They're currently only on 2004, so it's not like it's been out for 15+ years. You shouldn't even get any madeira notes. It will definitely have transitioned from crisp citrus into a more doughy and carmelized range. Even if it's light on the bubbles, drink it. The bubbles are nice, but not essential.

        1. re: john gonzales

          They don't, um, lock you in. Or they didn't lock me in. (Perhaps they should have.) The PJ mansion in Eperney is in the Belle Epoque style, or Art Nouveau. I was there a few days, and I personally didn't see any decoration or piece of art anywhere that did not fit the Art Nouveua theme. Did not see any Guy Buffet anywhere, though his artwork apparently is used for some promotions (those developed in the US, perhaps?). PJ in France/EU mainly uses artists who continue with the Belle Epoque floral/anemone art of the Fleur bottle. Buffet's work is quite different from this style, though Buffet does do a lot of work for wineries.

          1. re: maria lorraine

            I'd be surprised if his art was displayed there :( I just love that the Eiffel Tower is laced with the vines and flowers and the PJ cork is popping out of the top :)

            1. re: maria lorraine

              All I can say is that I stayed there as a guest a couple of nights. When we arrived we saw the Frencha and american flags flying and I asked who was staying there. They said "only you". It was a cool occasion. We had a couple of big dinners with staff and one night when I said I loved ice cream they dispatched one of the butlers and 15 minutes later he arrived with an assortment of ice creams to accomapany dessert.

              I can guarantee you that they locked us in. They made a point of explaining the policy to us and instructing us to wake someone in case we needed to go outside. There was a lot of bubbly consumed, and I am not 100% sure that I didn't see the Buffet originals in the winery building, but I am pretty sure there were a couple at the Maison which I spent more time at.

              If you like Art Nouveau, check this restaurant dining room out:
              I intended to get engaged at the Eiffel Tower, but a combination of cold, closed bathrooms, and rambunctious students thwarted me. But I got engaged in that room a bit later.

              1. re: john gonzales

                Good story. It's quite a place. Loved the dinners and tastings there. And the older PJ wines. I know I was never informed that we were to be locked in, but I also know there was staff milling about 24/7, so perhaps there was no need.

                The Marbeuf dining room is stunning. Lovely choice. Thanks for sharing.

      2. It may be a lot of fun if it was in a comfy place for 18 years. You will know a lot just from the cork.
        I agree with Maria Lorraine, have a back up, even if it's a Perrier-Jouet without the flowered bottle! Still good stuff.

        1. Thanks so much. I have a back-up ready.

          When we were on our honeymoon at Stonepine in Carmel, CA many years ago my husband proudly brought a bottle of Dom he'd been saving for what turned out to be way too long. We still laugh about that. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.