TN: 1997 Salon + Ultramarine 2015

Popped both about an hour before dinner and drank over the course of the next 4 hours. Fun to watch them both evolve over time.

Salon 1997

Picked this up at a liquor store in Salt Lake for an amazing price. Figured it was worth the gamble on provenance as it was tucked in a dark cupboard in its gift box.

Very fine mouse that gave it a sort of lifted quality on the palate. Very elegant texture. Nose of baked pear on toasted bread. The palate was extraordinary. It was one of those wines that shifted every time we sipped it. Initially it was that same baked pear and apple, then lemon curd on brioche, then almond praline, then creme brûlée. It also had this sort of salty sea spray quality that started to emerge, like a dusting of fleur de sel. The finish was a bit clipped and I wonder if the non-ideal storage made it a bit more advanced than it should have been but I’ve read that ’97s were more giving and generous early on.

Ultramarine 2015

Pours exceptionally frothy, almost like pouring a beer into the glass with a big whoosh of bubbles. Initially very closed giving mostly minerals on the palate and a bit of lemon zest on the nose. As it started to open up it gave off more of those fresh lemon qualities and a yeasty quality akin to walking into a bakery. On the palate it was all croissant, preserved lemon, and wet rocks. As I was drinking it remind me of young Dom Perignon. The finish is long.

Paired with Grilled Lobster, with a compound butter of its own roe and tomalley, tarragon, lemon, and whole grain mustard and a big honking salad with green goddess dressing.

Wines sound great (never had either) but the grilled lobsters look amazing. Can you point me to a recipe for the lobster?

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Sure thing. Recipe is my own. Included below:

4 2lb lobsters
4 sticks of room temp butter (~1lb)
1/4 cup fresh tarragon (chopped)
2tbsp whole grain mustard
juice and zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup olive oil
white pepper and salt to taste

Boil the lobsters in salted water for 4 minutes. Pull them out of the pot and shock them in salted ice water. Remove from the ice water. Separate the claws and boil them for 2 more minutes. Set aside.

Cut the lobster bodies and tails in half lengthwise and remove the tomalley and roe. Add the tomalley and roe to the bowl of a food processor with the butter and process until emulsified. Then add the tarragon, mustard, lemon juice/zest and olive oil. Pulse to combine. Season with salt and white pepper.

Remove the tiny legs from the lobster bodies, separate at the joints and use a the handle of a wooden spoon to roll up and press out the meat.

Separate the tail meat from the tails and chop into 4 chunks. The meat will be undercooked but that’s fine since you’ll be finishing them on the grill. Line the inside of the shells with some of the butter, place the tail meat back inside, fill the body portion with the knuckle meat you pressed out, cover with butter to form a smooth layer. You can either chill these in the fridge for a few hours or grill right away.

Turn the grill to high and cook the bodies for about 6 minutes until the butter in the shell is bubbling and the claws for about 4 minutes, turning once, until they are warmed through. Alternately you can put them into an oven heated to 425 and switch to broil when you put them in and broil them for about 3-4 mins depending on the strength of your broil setting.

Serve with a big salad. I used the green goddess dressing from Samin Nosrat’s Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.


Thanks a lot for the recipe!

I’m an ambitious home cook and this sounds fantastic – but ambitious.

I would leave out the tomalley and roe, but doing that, the recipe sounds great.

Thanks Brandon.

The 1997 Salon is seriously good.