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I was invited with Le Phantôme & Diamond Lager to Café Rotsunda for a summer dinner. As usual the night started with some premium bubbles:

1995 DOM PÉRIGNON ‘CUVÉE DOM PÉRIGNON’ | Epernay | Champagne | France | Dom Pérignon | 48PN 52CH | RJpoints 93(94)

TASTING NOTEHere is a soft, charming, sensual, and classic Dom Pérignon. The wine carpets the palate with the softest silky texture you can desire. This supple, complex wine runs down your throat with the greatest ease, trailing a fresh aftertaste. The aromatic palette is the same as usual, with its exotic fruit and breakfasty notes, as well as an unusually strong dash of vanilla that is a distinguishing feature of the vintage.’

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RJ ON DP Dom Pérignon – the name alone makes most of us break out in a delightful smile. When we think of this 17th-century monk from Hautvillers – so often pointed out as the father of Champagne – we either regard him with historical reverence, or associate his name with the proudest of all wine labels and everything else that follows in its glamorous, sparkling wake. Just imagine all the classic movie scenes that have been sweetened by a bottle of Dom Pérignon. Bond movies usually spring to mind. Countless times I’ve sat and sighed over agents with a license to kill: villains and exquisite women in seductively luxurious surroundings, all revelling in icy Dom Pérignon. Most champagne enthusiasts have their favourite scene. Mine is when Scaramanga, the man with the golden gun, shoots the cork off a bottle carried on a tray by his dwarfish servant Nic-Nack, along a now-famous Thai beach. The most comical scene must be when Sean Connery is served a 1957 Dom Pérignon, a vintage that never existed. Brilliant research!

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1990 SALON ‘CUVÉE ‘S’ de SALON’ | Le Mesnil-sûr-Oger | Champagne | France | Salon | 100CH | RJpoints 93(96)

TASTING NOTE ‘Salon demands longer cellaring than any other champagne. The wines do not go through malolactic fermentation and have a razor-sharp acidity in their youth, which carries the wine to unparalleled heights through the years. A mature Salon expresses a gigantically broad aromatic spectrum, and has a Burgundy-like vinosity. The stringency is maintained throughout the wine’s life, and as Salon has almost no dosage, the wine never becomes an exotic charmer like Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, but it is unmatched in terms of class and purity. Salon is only made in exceptionally good years, and in other years the grapes go to make up Delamotte. 

At the age of five this 1990 still tasted like a barrel sample! Spot-on and apply, with chablis like aromas and a magnificent young fruit. Today far more developed and at the same time in a little bit boring phase where aromas of dried hay and malt(!) dominate over finesse and fruit. In magnum the wine feels completely different with a nearly Dom Ruinart-like roasted and broad house style.’

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