Under the arm I glimpse something with a meandering shape very similar to a champagne bottle. On the direct question, he smiles softly. He has brought a bottle as a birthday present to our friend who turns one in the evening. The label has been gone for decades in a damp champagne cellar. The once shimmering foil top is matt green, where it is possible to distinguish the characteristic gold shimmering letter ‘S’ followed by ‘le Mesnil-sûr-Oger’.
The steel halter bursts at the edge of time. The cap is removed by gently twisting the bottle. ‘Pop’, from the bottle flows a cannonade of the aromas of the old champagne; lightly burnt butter aromas, confit figs, brûlée tones … Any bubbles? Almost none at all, but a small carbon dioxide whisper on the tongue could be sensed. What else to expect from a bottle where the grapes were harvested in 1921?
Salon is the most sought-after champagne for connoisseurs. The magnificent wine is so rare that only a few people got the chance to try the quintessence of Le Mesnil. With the above seductive and magical words on the retina, Johan Tidelius (called Salon-Johan in champagne circles) bought his first champagnes, Salon 1985 and 1988, for the wine cellar, which previously exclusively contained still wines. Today, almost twenty years later, champagne dominates the shelves. Somewhere along the way, he decided to collect all of Salon’s wines from his year of birth onwards. Something that turned out to be almost impossible. Despite intensive searching in all corners of Europe. It was not until one autumn ten years ago that all 18 vintages were behind bars in cool cellar vaults.
The preamble above is possibly slightly exaggerated if we are talking about a single bottle of Salon. But when it comes to this test, they fit more than well. It turned out to be the most comprehensive salon test ever conducted in terms of the number of vintages. Salon’s CEO Didier Depond said before the tasting that Salon tastings are held around the world, but that it then involves a maximum of 5-10 vintages. Among other things, a large test was held in Copenhagen a couple of years ago.