It’s Sarah’s last night in our southern house. I want to open a champagne that I particularly like, Champagne Dom Pérignon 1982. This year is particularly romantic and delicate for many champagne houses. For Dom Pérignon it is a delicacy. The cork comes easily and it’s incredible as it is tilted at its base, like a Basque beret set crooked. I must quickly taste it to know if the champagne is affected. The color is more amber than what I expected and the perfume is totally pure. The wine did not suffer. From the first sip, still cold, one is conquered by the gallant discourse of this refined champagne. There are yellow fruits, a discrete acidity, a controlled vivacity, but it is mainly the complexity that is entraining. As with previous aperitifs, poutargue, pork sausage and wild boar, small sardines, bonito slices in olive oil are perfectly suited. There is still a bit of foie gras that matches, the winner as previously is the sausage. The warmer the champagne and the friendlier it is. We feel good with this champagne that does not try to amaze us, but only to make us happy.
Which champagne could follow this one? I had an idea but at the turn of a conversation I learned that Sarah was born in 1973. The opportunity is too good to make follow a 1982 by Champagne Dom Pérignon 1973. I say to Sarah: « I bet the cork will break in two « . It turns out that the two recent times I opened this 1973, the cork broke. Despite all my precautions and my slow movements, the cap of this one breaks at the cork slice which is just above the lower end which is in contact with wine, as this part is a missing consistency of cork, which was obvious each time. And yet the top of the cork had given me hope. I raise with my corkscrew the rest of the cork and the pschitt is extremely clean, powerful. I pour the champagne and surprise surprise, it is much lighter than the 1982. Its pure nose is similar to that of 1982. Cold, it is younger than the 1982.
We had kept a half glass of the 1982 to be able to compare and what strikes with confusing evidence is that the two champagnes have the same taste. Everything in them is identical, with a common DNA. At the beginning of the comparison, the cooler 1973 seems more lively than the warmer 1982. The two come together quickly and it is clear at the end of tasting that the 1982 is of broader scale and more generous than the 1973, but the two stand in a handkerchief.
My wife had planned herb and spicy sausages and baked potatoes. Gourmet friends no longer read the suite. There was a little camembert Jort, the friend of champagnes. I put some Jort on a slice of potato. The combination with the champagne is divine.
With Sarah we shared champagnes that I love. His stay was short but allowed us to drink great wines.