Back in early July there were a few small events around the Champagne Salon 2006 UK Launch the one below was hosted by Didier Depond @ Six Storeys in Soho. For those wanting to look back a little then there are some other posts below:
On arrival we had the ever brilliant Delamotte Blanc de Blancs Non Vintage, this always just so good, mellow but focused, it just works. The extra ageing that Delamotte make sure of is so worthwhile.
We then sat for dinner, menu below, as Didier took us through the history of Salon at this the launch of the 40th Vintage in well over a century.
Poached duck egg,
cucumber ribbons, broad beans, light truffle hollandaise
Confit sea trout, dauphinoise potatoes, samphire, asparagus, romanesco, light Champagne and cauliflower sauce
Innes Goats, Mrs Kirkhams Lancashire & Parmigiano Reggiano Red
Coffee & Petits Fours – Madeleines & Almond biscotti
Delamotte Blanc de Blancs 2007 kicked off with the food and is a wine that 18months ago, when it was released, was in my view a little too stern. It has though, in the last 6months, blossomed and come out of its shell, it is a stunning wine and will progress well over the next 5+ years in my view. The character is currently lemon and lime with some cream, a lovely saline edge too and a dash of biscuit appearing.
Salon 2006 was obviously the main event here and was served in advance of the main course. I had tried it previously, just once, and in something of a rush so was excited about this. Expectation, as I have said many times can be dangerous with wines, this was not a problem here. As the wine evolved from a cool start it built and built. Slight notes of dark chocolate and cocoa beans, a real richness, a cool nuttiness as well but not heavy. Delicious texture and tension but again there is a feeling of more breadth, this has broad shoulders. The 2004 was much more muted at this stage. The 2006 is both serious and quite gourmand, there is a definite saline and ceps feel. I find it hard to know where to put it in reference to other Salons but there is something of the 2002 and the 1988 about this, special!
Salon 1997 (LR 2017) now the brackets here are nothing official but the Salon 1997 we had on this evening is the late release (2017 bottles released in 2017). I love the 1997 and am lucky to know it well from several recent experiences and I tend to class it as ready in bottle and best kept a little longer from magnum. This late release is all from bottles. On this evening it was terrific, luscious, very youthful in a positive sense for drinking now, lemon and unsalted caramel, hazelnuts, honeysuckle, acacia – complex but balanced. I think it is as ready to go as the “normal” bottles but has more vigour where the standard bottles have a more mellow nature.
We finished with the Delamotte Brut Collection 1970 from magnum, a wine I have had before. The two magnums in the room were slightly different. This is a rich, savoury and salty Champagne from back when vintage Delamotte was not a Blanc de Blancs. It is perfect with cheese as the salt and tangy, slightly orangey, fruit blends well.
A great evening and one that highlighted as ever the qualities of Delamotte as well as the pinnacle that is Salon. Where does Salon 2006 sit in the scheme of things? Too early to say for sure but very high is the answer – a wine I look forward to following over the next 20+ years!!