LES MESNIL - FRANCE
Salon is an icon; a combination of outstanding quality and almost unobtainable rarity.
Richard Juhlin has described Salon’s Champagne as:“unmatched in terms of class and purity.” He goes on to say: “Salon is the most sought-after Champagne among connoisseurs. This magnificent wine is so rare that only a few people have had the chance to taste the quintessence of Le Mesnil.”
Salon is always defined by the singular: a single grape, Chardonnay; a single village, Le Mesnil in the Cotes de Blancs; and a single year, for it is always the product of one exceptional vintage. And yet each vintage is different from any other. The vagaries of climate, something in the air, that tiny something that can change everything: this is where Salon’s personality is forged. Notes of white flowers, citrus zest, lightly toasted brioche. Then the glass fills magically with autumnal tones, fresh hazelnuts, praline, dried apricot, ripe yellow fruits. To know restraint but be generous, to combine lightness with solidity. This sense of duality is confirmed in the impeccable palate structure. Simultaneously rich and incisive, with the fine linear acidity to permit cellaring for 30 years or more, Salon always has a long future ahead.
When a vintage is declared less than 50,000 bottles of Salon are produced. To put that in perspective: Krug’s production – which is considered small – is about 500,000 bottles per year. Salon’s production represents only 1% of that of Dom Perignon and 10% of that of Louis Roederer Cristal. The rarity caused by such a tiny output is further exacerbated by Salon only declaring in the very finest vintages. In anything but an exceptional year, the grapes go into the Blanc de Blancs of sister house Delamotte. Salon 2008 is just the 41st vintage to have been produced since the house was established in 1905.
100 points, Antonio Galloni -"The 2008 Salon is simply extraordinary. Sadly, there will only be 8,000 magnums for the world… Soft and silky, with breathtaking finesse, the 2008 dazzles with a stunning interplay of bright Chardonnay fruit, soaring perfume and crystalline precision. A kaleidoscope of aromas, flavours and textures captivates all the senses. It is quite simply one of the most magnificent Champagnes I have ever tasted…”
99 points, Wine Enthusiast -“This legendary Champagne, only produced in exceptional years, comes from the village of Le Mesnil in the Côte des Blancs. It is made from 100% Chardonnay and aged for many years before release. Its minerality, concentration and beautiful fruit are still astonishingly young and deserve further ageing.”
100 points, Wine Enthusiast -“This new release from a great vintage for Chardonnay in Champagne is a perfect blanc de blancs, showing a wealth of intensity from the crisp, chalky, mineral tones to the perfumed apple notes. The aromas hint at developing toastiness that adds depth and complexity. The wine is still young and it will age for years.”
100 points, Wine Enthusiast -“The depths of this wine, with its layers of fruit and steeliness, are superb. Even after 12 years, it still needs to age further.”
20/20 points, Jancis Robinson MW -“This is excellence done by degrees… As is often said of the very best Champagnes, this is wine first and sparkling second.”