Salon Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut 2012

98+ The Wine Advocate – “Back in 2014, Salon’s president Didier Depond was quoted in the press as saying that “since 2008, there has been no genuinely great vintage in Champagne” and that a 2012 from Salon wouldn’t be released. But the just-released 2012 Brut Blanc de Blancs Le Mesnil shows that he had good reason to change his mind, as to my palate this is, after the 2008, the finest Salon produced this millennium. Unwinding in the glass with notes of citrus oil, wet stones, freshly baked bread, white currants and oyster shell, it’s full-bodied, deep and concentrated, with a tightly wound core of fruit, racy acids and an elegant pinpoint mousse. Concluding with a long and resonant finish, this is a structured and powerful Salon that’s a lot more incisive than, for example, the 2002 at the same stage, but which also carries more muscle and substance than a leaner vintage such as 2007.”

97 Points, Antonio Galoni, Vinous Media – “The 2012 Salon is absolutely gorgeous. It offers a beguiling mix of radiance and energy that seems to capture a little bit of elements of some of its older siblings. The expression of fruit is radiant and quite overt, but without reaching the tropical exuberance of the 2006. In shape, the 2012 recalls the mid-weight style of 2007 with the freshness of 2008, but not quite the youthful austerity of that wine. If that sounds like an appealing combination, well it is. The 2012 Salon is all harmony and class.”


Available on backorder


I can still remember the first time I ever had Champagne Salon, a moment permanently etched on my palate forever. It was in a top-tier restaurant in Epernay in1984 while on a wine tour through France (one that would solidify my career in the wine business!), while enjoying a superb dinner paired nicely with delicious but moderately priced Champagnes. At some point we noticed that the table next to us was hitting it hard – Taittinger’s Comtes de Champagne Blanc and Rosé, Moet’s Dom Perignon, Louis Roederer Cristal – all of the top guns were on parade.
They left before us and the Somm, whom we had chummed up to by then, noticed that the group hadn’t finished most of the bottles. He came over and asked if we would like to taste something truly special – and we immediately responded mais bien sur! Expecting one of the big names of the day, I was surprised to see him bring a rather unassuming green bottle to the table – with the name Salon Cuvee “S” emblazoned on the bottle, a wine I had never heard of before.
The next thing you know this hyper focused, racy, supercharged blast of bubbly minerality was ripping across my palate in a way I had never experienced before. This was truly something altogether different. We asked “what is this?!” Our Somm buddy expliqué that “ this is from one single grape variety, Chardonnay; from a single terroir, the Côte des Blancs; a single cru, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger; and a single year, from one of the finest Champagne producers in the game”
I had tasted the big names before, and they were great – powerful blends of Pinot and Chardonnay from multiple vineyards to create a house style in a single vintage. But this was different – here was a raw bolt of nervous energy, plugged directly into the terroir of its single site in Mesnil sur Oger. Bam. I will never forget the moment. How had I never heard of this? I was new in the business, but this was amazing!
He went on “not only that, but they only make it in the very best vintages, never more than 5,000 cases per year. It is very rare”. Add to that they release the wine only after ten years, sometimes holding some back even longer.
There were only 37 vintages produced in the 20th century, an average of about 2-3 per decade – compare that to the volume and frequency of a wine like Dom Perignon. It’s minuscule! The last vintage before the 2012 on offer today was the spectacular 2008 – but it was only sold in magnum which will set you back somewhere between $5,000-$8,000 today!
One other note on this incredible Champagne – it will age for decades, and in fact is much better on its 20th anniversary than on its 10th if you have the patience – plus it will probably be worth twice as much! Don’t miss out on a super rarified offer – our top wine of the year!


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