salon, le mesnil-sur-oger grand cru 1999
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE
95
WINE SPECTATOR
94

1999 salon, le mesnil-sur-oger grand cru

Why We're Buying

Many Champagne houses add pinot noir or pinot meunier to round of the flavor of their cuvée. Champagne Salon begs to differ. It produces Le Mesnil-sur-Oger entirely from chardonnay, with 2021 representing the 100th anniversary of the cuvées debut. During that time, the estate has only released 37 vintages, never producing more than 60,000 bottles in a single year. Few estates have higher standards than Salon. As a result, few estates command higher prices. This legendary Champagne stands out as the gold standard for bubbly, with critics comparing it to a white Burgundy with bubbles. The 2012 Salon vintage almost didn’t exist. In 2014, Salon's president Didier Depond had reportedly said there were no great vintages since 2008. Time has a way of changing people’s minds, though. The evolution of the 2012 vintage was undeniable, yielding a sweeping and structured Champagne with a tightly knit core of stone fruit, acids, oyster shells, brioche, and creamy mousse. Critics have uniformly praised 2012 Salon since its release. The Wine Advocate’s William Kelley called it “after the 2008, the finest Salon produced this millennium.” Meanwhile, wine critic James Suckling gave the vintage a 98-point rating, praising it as “layered and refined with wonderful complexity.”

Critics Scores

ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE
95

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

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.

WINE SPECTATOR
94

Wine Spectator

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.