Didier Depond, president of the Champagnes Salon and Delamotte had suggested that we have lunch together. He is an extremely busy man so the date of the appointment has coughed three times. We meet at the restaurant Le Petit Sommelier which is known for its high quality wine list. What I did not notice until then was that the proximity of the Montparnasse train station means that many travelers come with their suitcases piling up in all the open spaces. My jacket given to the staff was distorted by this pyramid of suitcases.
When I arrive, I ask the table chosen by Mr. Depond and the pretty Manon, sommelière that I did not know, said to me: « I saw your brother last night ». I ask her: « Jean Audouze? » And she answers yes, astonished at this coincidence. This supposes that Didier Depond announced that I would be his guest and that she had the information. Being in advance I have time to reread the wine list and dream of a thousand good wines that deserve our interest.
Didier arrives, we kiss, and he asks Manon to serve the wines he has already provided. He serves the Champagne Salon 2007 which he tells me that I will be the first in the world to taste it. We know that the great seducers say to their conquests that this is the first time they fall in love, but why not believe what Didier told me. We choose our menus. For both of us there will be oysters, then the hearty platter of pork and other foie gras. My meat will be a leg of lamb with garlic.
We will compare the 2007 Salon Champagne in two different glasses. With one, the Champagne Salon is wide and friendly. With the other he is sharp and intense. Well, clever who would say which is better but we will continue the other champagnes with the glass that makes the 2007 sharp and intense.
The 2007 Salon’s nose is impressive, lively and salty. In the mouth we look at each other because this 2007 is the absolute definition of a big Salon. He has everything for him. Didier willingly compares to the 1997 he loves. I join him. It is not a champagne of affirmation, even if it imposes itself, but it has all the subtle grace of Salon. It’s a wonderful champagne. With oysters the association is a treat because it is the salt that brings them together. And the oysters are delicious.
On pork, on foie gras, the Salon is perfect but there are no surprises. With small sardines the agreement is major.
I am thrilled because this 2007 promises to be huge and its DNA is that of the most beautiful Salon.
On the meat Didier served Champagne Delamotte Blanc de Blancs 2008. It is a beautiful champagne wide. We are not at the Salon level but we must not compare because this Delamotte has a very beautiful complexity. It is generous and easygoing.
Didier also serves the Champagne Delamotte Blanc de Blancs Collection 1999. This champagne was disgorged about 18 months ago. He is brilliant. It’s good champagne that we taste greedily because we know that we are facing a generous champagne and fine. At this point, the 1999 is much more interesting than the 2008, but the 2008 has a great future. There is in 1999 a certain race that makes it a very flexible champagne for gastronomy and very racy for drinking alone.
I brought in my musette the rest of Cyprus 1869 drunk until then with my son. It is the chocolate cake that will be the least problematic dessert for this wine. It is still amazing, with an amazing freshness and acidity and more velvety mid-palate notes. It did not vary by one gram. It must be said that in 149 years, it had time to assemble itself. I give a glass to Manon who is conquered and other friendly staff members a taste.
The food in the restaurant is simple but good because the products are good. The oysters in particular are superb. The atmosphere is that of a bistro but we can see that there are wine lovers who enjoy the excellent wine list. With Didier we found childhood memories that are common despite the fact that a generation separates us.
Didier was generous and managed to highlight the relevance of Delamotte champagnes. And he made me the gift of making me discover the Salon 2007 which will be in the history of Salon a great romantic and floral Salon, of crazy distinction. It is the soul of Salon that he delivered us in this extremely friendly meal.
(pictures are in the article in French, just below)