2002 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.”
A subtle, intense champagne that shows a complex character of lilac, minerals, sliced lemon, apple and white pepper. It’s 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, and has such clarity. It’s magnificent to drink now, but shows great texture and structure for ageing. 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. Even after 12 years, it still needs to age further. Drink from 2018.
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. Drink now through 2030.