Salon, the high-end Champagne house that produces solely vintage champagnes only in the finest years, and only using chardonnay grapes, provided Sketch restaurant in London with a zero dosage version of its latest 2002 cuvée,  i.e. with no sugar added before commercialization. 

When asked about such a choice, Vianney Gravereaux, Export Director at Salon explained: “We felt it was interesting to give discerning customers, under the expert guidance of London Sketch restaurant Head Sommelier Frédéric Brugues, the opportunity to taste two different expressions of the same Salon vintage.”

According to Gravereaux “The sans-dosage (without added sugar) is leaner, tighter, more focused, maybe more vibrant  at this stage, the avec-dosage (with added sugar) is more open, more in bloom, carries longer.” However, he also clarified that Salon has no intention to lower the dosage of its cuvées.

It should be reminded that the “normal” 2002 includes a modest amount of added sugar of 5 g/l.

When questioned about the actual need for dosage in high-quality champagnes due to the fact that global warming has led to riper grapes and the current state-of-the-art production practices, Gravereaux clarified that: “Dosage is still necessary as Champagne remains a northern wine-growing region, actually at the northern limit in the northern hemisphere, with natural high-acidity. Dosage is still necessary to soften that acidity (and Salon is a non-malolactic fermentation champagne), and to carry, to enhance, to expand the taste of the wine.”

Gravereaux also feels that dosage depends on the house style and on the quality and style of the grapes entering the blend, on the overall balance that you want to achieve.

Salon 2002 spent more than 12 years in the cellars before becoming available.

Since its foundation in 1911 by Eugene Aimé Salon Salon has produced only 38 vintages, less than 3 per year.

To learn more about Salon read our exclusive interview with its President Didier Depond.

To learn more about dosage check our extensive coverage of the subject: