So the call comes through, fancy a Caviar and Salon tasting at Mark’s Club? Not a tricky one to say “yes” to.
Didier Depond who is Mr Salon and Mr Delamotte was there to present the Champagnes and Laura King (with her daughter, Holly ) of King’s Fine Food were there to do the same for the Caviars.
The menu speaks for itself in terms of the matches. I’ll mention each wine below but as I am no expert on Caviar, and won’t pretend to be, I should give my views on those first. We had each Caviar three ways which was good for comparisons: On the back of the hand (pure), on a blini (delicious) and on a mini potato (not quite sure). The Beluga was rich, nutty and creamy, delicious, moreish. The Oscietra was class, in wine terms it was like Le Clos from Raveneau – poised, precise, somehow generous, saline (of course but classily so), endlessly long, effortless. Decision reserved on the Platinum was it wasn’t quite in the league of the others, a little like a bottle of a wine you love but is somehow subdued. It was a real pleasure to eat these – thanks again to Laura and Holly.
Delamotte 2007 (B de B of course) was served on arrival. When this first came out about two years ago I liked it but found it, almost, too serious, a little austere. Then about 6 months ago I had it again and loved it, this continues now, it has a lovely drive, a little citrus, a little toast and real “drink me” feel. I think it’ll age very well but don’t miss out on having some of it now. Something of a “steal”, especially given the stable it is from.
Salon 2004 – At the launch of this vintage it was a wine of immense promise, tight, very salty, compact and clearly very good but just not showing as much as it might. I was intrigued to taste it again and then very pleased. This has blossomed, not disproportionately, there is fruit to match the saline edge, it has become exceptionally vinous. There is a little decadent edge also. I feel this (maybe due to the two green harvests) has the potential to be just that little different. Delighted.
Salon 1999 – It’s a little while since I last had this vintage. For me (not everyone agreed) this had the most primary, zesty, young feel. I think that this is definitely in the “hold/wait” phase. Lots of citrus and a massive amount of energy. If you have it now then lots of air, otherwise, hold fire…you’re in for a real treat.
Salon 1997 – Comfortably the Salon that I have had most in the last few years. For me it is the easiest to understand and enjoy, of the Salons from 1995 onwards, right now. There is true Chardonnay fruit but a little bit of decadence too, it’s just great for enjoying now. It has a certain mellowness that the 1999 and 1996 don’t have yet.
Now that was fun!