Salon 'Cuvee S' Blanc De Blancs 1999
Huon Hooke97 points
Antonio Galloni95 points
David Schildkne95 points
Wine Spectator94 points
Julia Harding M18 points
Brioche, white bread, white blossom, white fruit and bitter almond flavours are still developing. The middle palate and aftertaste are crystalline and it has a lingering finish with hints of citrus.
Champagne Salon is a masterpiece of complexity, created for pleasure, pure and simple. A truly profound wine! Created in 1911 with first vintage 1905, Champagne Salon is the creation of one man, a champagne connoisseur enchanted then seduced by the terroir of Le Mesnil. This Champagne is produced from a one-hectare parcel owned by Salon: "Salon’s garden", and from 19 other smaller parcels in Mesnil-sur-Oger, chosen by Aimé Salon at the beginning of the century. The wines are cellared in the bottle for an average of 10 years, gaining in complexity and finesse.
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Critic Scores & reviews
"Full yellow colour; bright. Very bready and toasty bouquet with some definite aldehyde characters, a trace of flor sherry character. Lovely rich yet lively palate: full and flavoursome with some genuine lees-age development, but also great, enlivening acidity and a clean, lingering finish. Trace of liqueur in the mid-palate, in excellent balance. Fuller style, very satisfying. Clean, dry aftertaste, but not as dry as I would expect from this marque. Endless length. Great wine!"
"The 1999 Salon, tasted from magnum, is the first wine in which fresh, primary fruit flavors are replaced by more mature notes. Lemon oil, light honey and chamomile flesh out in a radiant, expressive Champagne loaded with class. Here it is the wine’s texture and breadth that impress above all else. The 1999 is a fabulous transition to the older wines in this tasting, as it is both youthful and complex."
"The Salon 1999 Brut Le Mesnil – disgorged already in 2011 and dosed with a pretty typical six grams of residual sugar – displays faintly fusil and quarry dust notes as well as hickory nut, almond, walnut and toasted wheat piquancy on the nose. Polished and subtly creamy in texture yet brightly juicy with apple and lemon, this displays an uncanny sense of lift and refinement, perfectly complementing the honeysuckle and heliotrope perfume that waft inner-mouth. You could lose yourself in the ineffability of this wine’s floral diversity and in its resonantly nut and grain low tones. Hints of apple pip lend subtle additional piquancy on a long and at once soothing as well as stimulating finish, with suggestions of oyster liquor becoming prominent as the bottle stands open for a few minutes, and serving to milk the salivary glands for all that they are worth. Follow this for at least a decade."
"There's a sense of finesse to this sleek, elegant Champagne, which has a creamy texture and seamlessly integrated structure, offering subtly layered flavors of ripe white peach, black raspberry fruit, lemon meringue pie, pickled ginger and blanched almond. Drink now through 2028."
Julia Harding MW18
"Gentle first impression, almost a touch floral – lavender? herbal? – spicy and biscuity too. Broader than the 2002 and less intense, not as concentrated on the mid palate but a little broader, less tightly wound, as you would expect. Still vey finely balanced and creamily textured. Amazingly long finish."
Love this wine? Here's a list of other vintages we have in stock if you'd like to try them as well.
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Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.
Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.
Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)
The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.
Champagne is a wine region to the north-east of Paris where wine has been grown since the Romans first planted in the 5th century and the region is most well known for the sparkling wine that goes by the regions name.
Champagne is made from 3 grapes. The two red grapes Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and the white grape Chardonnay. All three are commonly blended though a ‘blanc de blanc’ meaning ‘white from white’ indicates that only Chardonnay was used. Conversely a ‘blanc de noir’ or ‘white from black’ indicates that the two red grapes were used.
A common misconception is that Champagne was invented by Dom Pérignon. Although this is not the case, he made considerable contributions to the quality and production methods used in the region. The very first bottles of Champagne were created by accident, and coined ‘the devil’s wine’ for all the popping corks. Sparkling wine in Australia was referred to as Champagne but this practise has long been disallowed.
Methode Champenoise is the traditional method by which Champagne is produced and if you see Millisime on a bottle, it represents the fact that the wine comes from a particular vintage rather than being blended, which is the more common practice.
Icons such as Dom Pérignon and Kristal are world reknowned, but we find as much pleasure in the smaller Champagne houses such as Gosset and Jacquinot. Magnums are perfect for the festive occasions and half bottles are also available.
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About the brand Champagne Salon
Regarded as one of the very best champagnes on the market today, Champagne Salon started out as a venture by a man named Aimé Salon who wanted to create a unique kind of champagne from one kind of grape variety (Chardonnay), in a blanc de blanc style from one vintage with no blending at all. Salon believed that if he gave enough time for the wine to develop, it would result in a phenomenal wine, and he was right. His 1911 'Grand Vin Nature du Mesnil' was the first blanc de blanc champagne to be released in 1921. The grapes used to make the champagne are from the commune Le Mesnil-sur-Oger in the Côte des Blancs subregion of Champagne, and from one hectare of Salon’s own garden. The vintages of Salon are usually kept for 10 + years before being released, and no more than 60,000 bottles are produced in each vintage. Today, the house of Salon is headed by Didier Depond, along with its sister brand, Champagne Delamotte.