Sometimes I wonder if there are bubbles in heaven, if there are, it will probably be Champagne Salon.
Finest expression of the terroir
Salon Champagne is one of the finest and most renowned producer in Champagne. Made from 100% Chardonnay from 1 hectare of their own vineyard as well as purchased grapes from around 20 producers from the same terroir (Le Mesnil-sur-Oger). Salon only produce vintage champagnes from this single vineyard, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. It is one of the highly regarded Grand Cru vineyard in Champagne. The annual production (if they declared it a great vintage) is around 60,000 bottles, approximately 4 vintages is released every decade.
Salon is built for serious ageing
What makes this single vineyard Blanc de Blancs Champagne different is its immense amplitude and opulent expression. Salon generally release their wines after 10 years on lees, and often requires another decade or two of cellaring before they step into their sweet spot of their drinking windows.
Only 8,000 magnums to be released in 2020.
The latest release Salon 2007 is one of the purest Salon, only 53,000 bottles produced compared to 1 million bottles of Crystal and 6-10 million Dom Perignon. According to Didier Depond, there were lots of sunshine in 2007 in Cote des Blancs (where Le Mesnil sur Over is located), but uneven conditions. Fortunately for Salon, the chalk soils helped the grapes to ripen. Energetic, tight with firm acidity. This 2007 Salon is a teenage rebel, full of energy with sharpness and still needs to learn how to behave, give it time! Lovely finesse under the tight structure and continued to develop throughout the night. (93-94/100) Tasted on 19 June 2018
Tasted blind – Powerful, focused and confident. The nose offers a good proportion of fresh citrus fruits, gentle biscuits, and cool tree fruits. There is a good sense of purity and sophistication here. Elegant, bright and crystalline – the precision suggests a single vineyard wine. Great concentration and intensity yet it is already offering much pleasure. Blanc de Blancs, 1999, Salon? I adored many 2004 wines from Champagne, especially the Chardonnay. They offer a great vibrancy with superb balance of fruit and acidity. Drink the 2004 Salon while we wait for 2002 to mature. (95/100) Tasted on 18 May 2018
The latest release from Didier Depond, the president of Salon. 100% Chardonnay from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger as always for Salon, aged a bit more than 10years on lees. Served slightly warmer at ca. 16°C in universal glass. Very elegant and up-font, much more welcoming than 2002. Classic Salon aromas of citrus, minerals/flints, floral notes. 2004 shows the purest expression of Chardonnay with loads of richness and salinity finish. Hedonistic and composed. Too young to drink now but tremendous potential. (96/100)
Salon 2002… is it the right investment for your children? The best single parcel wine from le Mesnil-sur-Oger, 62,000 bottles of 02 Salon produced. One of the highlights in the Salon + Delamotte masterclass, the 02 is younger and much more restrained than 04 served before it. Brutally young with razor sharp acidity (No MLF in all Salon). Very muscular and broad, dense with superb texture, utterly delicious! Magnificent Champagne but not ready to drink in the near future. Is this the new 1988?. (97+/100)
This 1999 is slightly dull on the nose, steely and doesn’t show the vibrancy and sleekness of a typical Salon. Exhibits rich complexion, some mature honied mushroom flavours. Still a great wine to enjoy, but I doubt this is the best bottle. Despite being an ex-Chateau bottle, the quality of the wine is not 100% guaranteed the best. (91?/100)
Salon 1997 Limited Edition (disgorged in 2017)
The recently released Limited Edition Salon 1997 was disgorged in 2017, and only around 1000 bottles released. (Note: Salon still has 15,000 bottles of 1997 ageing on lees in their cellar, and will slowly release them onto the market). The 1997 Limited Edition is more generous and richer on lees than the normal bottles (that was released in 2007). Great vibrancy and depth – Ripe orchard fruits, white peach, toasted nuts with a maturing flavours of dried fruits, cheese. Beautiful. (96/100) Tasted 19 June 2018
1997 stood out in the Salon tasting. Compelling nose yet refined. Gorgeous aromas of rich lemon slices, apple bake, spicy biscuits, and cream caramel oxidative notes creeping in. Very fresh and super delicate. Relatively soft and approachable wine, lower acidity than 96 and 88. Impeccable Salon power and finesse. Great to drink now but still got positive uphill development. A high quality Salon for short term drinking relative to other vintages, still would last more than 10years. (95/100)
The 1996 Salon is absolutely stunning! A Montrachet with bubbles with the brightness of a Chevalier Montrachet. Extraordinary power combined with killer finesse and class. A gorgeous champagne in every way – opulent and precise Salon aromas of vanilla brioche, citrus, mineral, and a hint of mushroom tertiary aromas but incredibly young. Ultimate intensity combined with grace. (99/100)
This is THE Salon Champagne to drink now! Absolutely gorgeous fragrance and rich mature complexity. Ex-Chateau bottle – Exotic toasty caramel infused brioche, amplified intensity, great acidity, superb balance and very rich and lingering finish. This is everything I want in my Champagne. At its peak but can easily last for another decade. (97/100)
Side note: Salon doesn’t age their wines in oak barrel at all, which is one of the reasons why Salon Champagne have incredible ageing potential.