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Good deal on two great champagnes


MartyL
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I know there are some bubbly-fanciers around here, and wanted to make you all aware of a very good deal I saw recently:

Premier Cru, in Emeryville, California, is offering 1988 and 1985 Salon Le Mesnil for $69.95 and $99.95, respectively. These look to me to be about $30 off of the regular retail price one tends to see around. They will ship to NY.

You can contact them by e-mail at sales@premiercru.net.

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I've had both but not side-by-side. I'm fairly certain, though, that side-by-side I'd choose the 1988. The 1985, if my memory is working, tastes a lot more than three years older than the 1988. It has a lot of the characteristics I associate with a heavily aged Champagne and there's a point in Champagne's life cycle where I think it gets too old to be enjoyed by anyone other than Champagne geeks. What I liked about the 1988 was its freshness and brightness combined with the complexity and subtlety of an older wine -- this is why I favor extended tirage sparkling wines in general. Pretty much any Salon vintage is going to give you excellent wine, but within the gradations of excellence that Salon offers the 1985 didn't quite do it for me.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
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Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I've had the 85 recently, never had the 88, and it didn't taste at all old, perhaps there was a problem with Fat Guy's bottle. 85 is definitely considered a greater year, but 88 is more forward and somewhat more acidic and this may appeal more to some. The prices are excellent and below recent NYC auction prices. I personally find the chardonnay only champagnes like Salon to be less interesting than conventional champgnes.

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MartyL,

Thanks so much for posting this--champagne (and especially Salon) is priced so high in the United States. I will definitely be checking out Premier Cru's website.

I can't offer any tasting notes on the 1985 but in regards to the 1988, I find it to be a very elegant, classy champagne that is very clean in the palate. A great blancs de blancs, and even better when you can find it at this price!

Speaking of Salon, does anyone know if they've declared a vintage for 1995/1996 yet?

Thanks again,

Howie

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  • 2 weeks later...

MartyL - thanks (I think) for the info. Ended up ordering 4 of the 88, which my husband said he just loved when he went to a vertical tasting. Another new place to buy more reasonably priced champagnes/wines. Wine Club's prices on champagnes are not that great, although D&M in San Francisco sometimes has some great prices.

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Just another bulletin here from the bubbly shopping front:

Sam's in Chicago (www.samswine.com) is holding its annual Fall warehouse sale through October 31. The sale catalogue is pages and pages long, and includes quite a few champagnes. Three that jumped out to me as good buys (not to mention good wines) in the NV category are:

Billecart-Salmon Champagne Rose NV: $35

Egly-Ouriet Champagne "Grand Cru Cuvee Vielles Vignes Blanc de Noir" NV: $31

Jacques Selosse Champagne "Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs" NV: $36

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