Reviews & Scores
An almost ideal growing season with no periods of extreme weather, ending with a cool but sunny September. Harvest began on 16 September. The very classy nose has a mineral-infused character underlying its spicy, floral scents. This Salon has the power to be long-lived and the freshness and vivacity to be already enjoyable, but also to be an ideal companion for a gastronomic meal. Perfection.
I sacrificed a bottle of the 2002 Brut Blanc de Blancs Le Mesnil from my own cellar to fill this gap in The Wine Advocate database and was interested to see that the wine has evolved a little since I last encountered it a couple of years ago. Subtle aromas of brioche, iodine and walnuts now inflect its bouquet of ripe lemon, green apple and crushed chalk, and on the palate, the wine is full-bodied, broad and powerful, with a fine mousse and considerable depth and dimension, concluding with a delicately chalky finish. This is an unusually ripe, muscular vintage of Salon, and my own palate tends to favor the brighter, more incisive vintages such as the 2007 or the 1996 at its best, but this is nonetheless a superb blanc de blancs that's maturing a touch faster than I expected.
Another highlight in this vertical, the 2002 Salon is also fascinating to taste after the 2004. Rich, opulent and intense, yet also very classic in the Salon house style, the 2002 possesses superb persistence and depth. The radiant vintage has softened the contours and given the wine fabulous depth to match its decidedly powerful personality. At the same time, the 2002 remains quite youthful. Next to the brighter and more finessed 2004, the 2002 offers more of a baritone-inflected expression of Chardonnay.
There's vibrancy and a sense of finesse to this rich and creamy Champagne, which is defined by racy acidity and a streak of chalky minerality. Offers an expansive palate of glazed apricot, oyster shell, toasted almond and spun honey flavors, accented by hints of ground ginger, dried lemon peel and marzipan. The finish is racy and persistent. *Collectibles*
A cool and pure nose features notes of citrus, in particular lemon rind, along with plenty of yeast, green apple, floral and iodine elements. The refined and intense middle weight flavors are shaped by an ultra-fine mousse that contributes to the sense of subtlety and finesse, all wrapped in a fantastically long and deep finish. Moreover, this is absolutely nowhere near being ready as the '02 version of Salon is going to age for years, indeed my 2022+ estimate may very well be 5 years too early. Either way, this is an estimable vintage for one of my favorite wines.
A subtle, intense champagne that shows complex character of lilac, mineral, sliced lemon, apple and white pepper. It is full-bodied and dense but racy and agile with a lightness and freshness. It has a gloriously long finish. It changes every moment in the glass. It has such clarity. It's magnificent to drink now, but shows great texture and structure for aging. Best since 1982."
The 35th and most recent vintage of Salon since the house was founded in 1905 is memorable and magnificent. Made only from Chardonnay grown in the Grand Cru village of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, it combines intense minerality, a crisp textured core and the beginnings of maturity. The depths of this wine, with its layers of fruit and steeliness, are superb. *Cellar Selection*