About Me

Gavin Hubble - (BSc & Post Grad. Business Marketing) - I started working in the wine industry over 23 years ago in New Zealand. Working in; wine retail, sales, wine production, label & packaging design, marketing, wine buying, consulting and wine education. I am responsible for the Brand Health of 60+ wine brands distributed here in New Zealand. Wine Brands from New Zealand, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Chile and Argentina. I work closely with the Trade Industry - (Retail Stores & Restaurants) introducing, educating and positioning exciting and unique brands to wine enthusiasts all over the world.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Salon Champagne 1999 launched with Fish 'n' Chips.

Salon Champagne launched its 1999 vintage with a fish 'n' chip lunch in London, at 'Geales' fish restaurant in Notting Hill. The ultra-exclusive Salon, of which there have been only 37 vintages since being founded in 1905, was launched with a traditional British lunch of battered Haddock and chips with mushy peas and tartare sauce.

Didier Depond the winemaker and president of Salon described the 1999 as a 'mature, rich and abundant' year, and the wine as 'sophisticated' and 'tamed'.
London-based journalists and wine critics, tasting the Champagne, found it variously 'opulent, with flavours of brioche, white bread, white flowers, earth and delicate yeast flavours.'
It was suggest the wine can be drunk from 'now until 2050', with magnums set to last until 2060, Didier said for him it was too young, and would not be ready for five to 10 years.


Salon is made only from Chardonnay from the 'Clos de Mesnil' vineyards and is matured for at least 10 years in bottle. The 1999 was bottled in 2000 and will be disgorged in batches of 2000 bottles every six months. A total of 50,000 bottles are produced. Vinification is entirely in stainless steel - and there is no malolactic fermentation. The dosage is a bone-dry five grams per litre of residual sugar. The 'Clos le Mesnil' terroir is characterised by thin topsoil, with the vines rooted in deep chalk, 'which accounts for the minerality,' Didier said.
The next vintages of Salon to be released will be the 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008. The last, Didier says, is possibly “the finest Salon he has ever tasted”.

As for the fish 'n' chip match - Didier was delighted. “It's the first time I have ever had Salon with haddock and chips”, he said. “For me the match is perfect”. The creamy mousse and opulent minerality of the wine did indeed cut through the batter and robust, perfectly-cooked fish.
There are still 3000 bottles left un-disgorged of the 1996 in Salon's cellars. The current vintage of Salon in New Zealand is the 2007 at RRP NZ$690.00 - very limited availability. No news as yet on the 1999 release in New Zealand.

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