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Salon oenothèque case Magnum 2008 - 09/18/2019

UNIQUE

A LEGEND OF THE CENTURY

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A legendary wine – one that sparkles.

Salon is a unique champagne. Defined by its singularity since the very beginning, this exceptional wine is the champagne of a single terroir: the Côte des Blancs; a single cru: Le Mesnil-sur-Oger; a single grape variety: Chardonnay; a single year: that of a great vintage; and of one man: Eugène-Aimé Salon.

DISTINCTIVE
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The first vintage of Champagne Salon was 1905. It was the creation of Eugène-Aimé Salon, a unique character with unwavering ambition. In love with champagne and captivated by the terroir of Le Mesnil, Eugène-Aimé Salon created a champagne after his own heart: an unparalleled Blanc de Blancs. Initially he created this for his personal pleasure only – it was not until the 1920s that he was to share his creation with the rest of the world.

Champagne Salon comes from a single hectare plot called « the Salon garden » and nineteen other small plots in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger selected by Eugène-Aimé Salon at the beginning of the 20th century. The wines are aged in our cellars for an average of ten years, after which they finally start to reveal their complexity and finesse.

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The fact that Salon still conserves bottles in its cellars from nearly every vintage is testament to its legacy and honours it.

Just 37 vintages were produced in the 20th century, a unique phenomenon in the world of wine.

Today, Champagne Salon is run alongside Champagne Delamotte by Didier Depond, President, and Michel Fauconnet, Cellar Master and Production Manager of the Laurent-Perrier group.

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Bottle

The Vintages

1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 2006

Champagne Salon 2008

Salon 2008, the dream vintage.

The wine

Salon honours the memory of its founder, a century on. In the 1910s, Eugène-Aimé Salon had a vision, a dream: to create a champagne for all time, from a single grape variety, chardonnay, laid bare in all its subtlety; from a single great terroir, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger; and from a single superlative year, the vintage.
A stand-alone defined by its singularity; subtle and complex, the world’s ultimate champagne.
The 2008 vintage of Champagne Salon is the absolute embodiment of this quest for perfection. It contains within it the poignant beauty of nature, reflecting its long, slow toil in the silence of the cellar. This is where that astonishing backdrop of savoury minerals emerged, that sensation of chalk in the mouth: an immediate hit, building slowly, gradually, ultimately all-enveloping. It was here that this virile wine took form, exceeding all expectations, here that its beautiful minerality was forged, heralding a wine with limitless ageing potential. In achieving perfect balance, nature’s work is complete.

The vintage

After a mild winter, rainy spring and a positively glacial start to June, flowering was understandably reticent. But the vine is hardy and the skies proved favourable to the growers. June settled into its usual summer spirit and the fruit set looked promising: high quality grapes, even if the crop would be small. Superb conditions in August saw the harvest date confirmed, only for a dull early September to trigger last-minute angst. The chardonnays took their time, but prospered nonetheless, gaining in power right up until 17th September, when Salon’s parcels in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger were finally harvested.
2008 has yielded an exceptional champagne, true to the timeless spirit of Salon and the dream of Eugène-Aimé himself. A complicated year that has proved to be unique, it is the ultimate expression of chardonnay’s sublime potential, the genius of its site and its people.

Serving

Taste it and drink it just cool, between 13 and 15 degrees.

Tasting notes

In the glass, Salon 2008 is the epitome of Salon – diaphanous, yellow diamond glinting with green rays; on the nose its aromatic depth is powerfully redolent of the earth, heralding on the palate that sense of balance and structural firmness that will allow the wine to develop its full complexity. There is a driving sense of stone here, a heightened minerality, its chalky acidity first drying then mouthwatering, slender and rapier-fine to the end of time to blossom finally like a flower, turning on the charm, its tiny, fine bubbles tantalizing…

Food pairing

Nature’s rich bounty provides so many matches for Salon 2008, from the air, land and sea. The sole requirement: it must be exquisite. Whatever that means for you – your grandma’s cooking, the revelation of your first truffle, oyster or caviar, that delicious ceviche or tempura, Salon 2008 will take its place at the table, generous and all-embracing in spirit. Faithful to the extraordinary vision of its founder, transcending all limits, Salon 2008 is the dream vintage: a champagne for all time.

Champagne Salon 2007

Salon 2007, shining light

The wine

Salon is defined by its absolute singularity : a single varietal, chardonnay ; a single terroir, the Côte des Blancs ; a single cru, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, a single year, that of its vintage. Every vintage – for not all years can be a vintage, only the greatest years – is different from any other. Every Salon year incarnates a perfect dream, respecting nature and the earth. Elever un vin – that peculiarly French concept of ‘bringing up’ a wine, is in fact an extreme form of educational refinement, one that respects and honours the distinct personality and characteristics of each one. And the task of steering the wine towards its ultimate potential falls to the men and women of Salon. Glowing like some perfectly brought-up young angel, Salon 2007 gives us a glimpse of its future grace, gleaming with light and beauty.

The vintage

After a mild winter, April was magnificent, and flowering was perfect. June and July brought long days of bright sunshine, the light reverberating on the chalky soil and providing vital residual warmth for the subsequent chilly August. With nature still on-side, the sensible decision would have been to harvest then and there, but then second thoughts….patience! Out came the sun, that great game-changer, charging everything with light and energy. As an uncertain season reached full term, the vines yielded a crop of perfectly ripe grapes, and in decent quantities too. The resulting musts were rich yet not excessive in sugar, with fine acidity to balance. Now for time to work its magic.

Serving

Taste it and drink it just cool, between 13 and 15 degrees.

Tasting notes

Salon 2007 is immediately appealing with its pale shades ; cool blonde tones glistening with lemon and green. The bubbles are fine, quick : the very essence of Salon 2007 in all its dynamic luminous energy. In the glass, aromas form a moving backdrop, fresh and bright as sunrise : lemon, lime, yuzu, then green apple, a hint of smoked tea and fresh herbs on wet stone. The palate is focused on backbone and purity : this is the terroir of Le Mesnil taking centre stage, displaying its unique rigour and stony imprint. An electric sensation, sending shiver upon shiver down the spine.
Salon 2007 will shine on, preserved in the darkness of its cellars, asking only to be brought into the light, a shimmering aurora borealis.

Food pairing

The seas and deep oceans are a veritable treasure trove of delights to match with radiant Salon 2007. The oyster, in all its forms – fresh, in a gratin, as a foam…. Langoustines in tempura, a seabass tartare or ceviche. Scallops, the ultimate treat, pan-fried in a second. On the richer side, a 24-month aged comte or a truffled brie would make a colourful grande finale to any fireworks featuring Salon 2007.

Champagne Salon 2006

Salon 2006, the Romantic

The wine

All Salon is as one, defined in the singular: a single grape, Chardonnay; a single terroir, the Cote des Blancs, a single ‘cru’ village, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, a single year, that of its vintage. And yet each vintage – and not every year can be called a vintage, only the greatest years - is different from any other. The vagaries of climate, something in the air, that tiny something that can change everything: this is where Salon’s personality is forged. And Salon 2006 is a great romantic, a lyrical soul, marching to the beat of its own drum. Never mind eleven years spent ageing in the cool silence of the cellars in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Salon 2006 surges forth unbridled, with the spirit of youthful rebellion. Just imagine the promise of the years ahead!

The vintage

August was horrid, cold and rainy, after the perfect sunshine and warmth of June and July. But in the end it was all a false alert, the fear came to nothing, no disease problems. September arrived and set fair, with cool mornings and glorious days that continued throughout harvest, up to 2nd October: the grapes reached optimum ripeness, giving musts with magnificent sugar levels balanced by fine acidities, a hallmark of the vintage. Yields? Neither too big nor too small. The result: Salon 2006, a great vintage with a tremendous future ahead.

Serving

Taste it and drink it just cool, between 13 and 15 degrees.

Tasting notes

First of all, just wait. Once Salon 2006 has been uncorked, leave it a little while, to breathe, to open out. Then, just look at it: its shimmering golden colour, glinting silver and green. The never-ending bubbles, so tiny, setting free the familiar betwitching scents of Salon in its first flush. Notes of white flowers, citrus zest, lightly toasted brioche. Then the glass fills magically with autumnal tones, fresh hazelnuts, praline, dried apricot, ripe yellow fruits. A romantic of the highest order, Salon 2006 embodies the carefree spirit of youth, tempered by experience. And there lies its true enigma and charm. To know restraint but be generous, to combine lightness with solidity. This sense of duality is confirmed in the impeccable palate structure – it is all in the education of course. Simultaneously rich and incisive, with the fine linear acidity to permit cellaring for 30 years, Salon 2006 has a long future ahead.

Food pairing

Matching Salon 2006 to food is a sensual delight: from diaphanous slices of Iberico ham – a brilliant pairing - to an ultra-dark chocolate tart, truffled mash, or even sublime truffled eggs, a carpaccio of tuna, all classic favourites.

Champagne Salon 2004

Salon 2004, the tranquil power of a dormant volcano.

The wine

Salon is unique. The fruit of an ambitious idea, of a desire to go beyond standard practice and push the boundaries of Champagne. So it was that in the early 1900s, Eugène-Aimé Salon, a man of aesthetic leanings with an obsession for champagne, conceived this champagne from a single vintage, from a single cru in the heart of the Côte des Blancs, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, and from a single grape variety, chardonnay. The miracle of this pioneering Blanc de blancs marked the start of many other miracles, for a bottle of Champagne Salon is a masterpiece of complexity, created for pleasure, pure and simple.

The vintage

The 2004 growing season got off to a slow start in Champagne, even in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, the legendary terroir of the Côte des Blancs, with its unrivalled balance between sugar and acidity. Despite this, the crop looked so abundant, that the decision was taken in July to perform a ‘green harvest’ (thin the crop) to ensure optimal fruit concentration. Cool, rainy conditions during August saw the grapes struggle to ripen. Finally however, on the 2nd September and up until autumnal conditions arrived on 23rd and harvest began, the weather set fair. Glorious sunshine brought the crop – plentiful yet carefully contained – safely and surely to a level of ripeness that was simply inconceivable, together with extraordinary acidity. This was an extraordinary show of power from deep inside the vines, an explosion of quality that had had been building quietly for an entire year, deep within the earth, in the vines themselves, the product of the soil, the wind, the rain, the sun, until finally, surpassing all our hopes, this champagne surged forth: like a serene volcano, it simmered quietly before unleashing its true nature, as if by surprise, with the Salon 2004 vintage.

Serving

Taste it and drink it just cool, between 13 and 15 degrees. Be ravished.

Tasting notes

It is all there in the glass, the enticing promise that is Salon 2004: the pale colour flashing with green, the tiny bubbles rising dynamically on their gossamer thread, hallmarks of the vintage. Clean and lively on the attack, the wine’s intense freshness and minerality deliver on its aromatic promise – an impressive nose with notes of minerals, gunflint, stones, smoked tea, just a touch of mint. Redolent of the ocean with its iodine, seaweed tang, it conjures up images of basalt cliffs, a Giant’s Causeway thrown up by ancient volcanic eruptions, beaten smooth by the incessant pounding of the waves. Time has done its work. Through the medium of the vine, sun, soil, water and air have worked their alchemy to forge this Salon 2004, carrying the promise of a great future, with inimitable poise.
Taut and edgy in the mouth, the wine is all purity and fine acidity. The magnificent salinity of this great white wine, still in its first flush of youth, offers a suitable foil to the ripe chardonnay fruit, emerging gently but surely, with hints of brioche, warm bread and fresh yeast characters tiptoeing in behind. The wine becomes rounder as it airs in the glass, revealing a beautiful vinosity, the curve counter-balancing its acidity to perfection. And on the finish, the merest hint of bitterness, the signature of so many truly great wines.

Food pairing

From the pared-down simplicity of shellfish, country bread, and salted butter to the most sophisticated turbot in a cream oyster sauce highlighting the wine’s inherent nuttiness; and from a simple lobster with Belon oysters to recipes with Japanese seaweed, all will make an elegant partner for Salon 2004, just as, by welcome contrast, the rich, noble fat of a great Parma or Iberico ham will lift it to new heights.

Champagne Salon 2002

Salon 2002, the soul of Salon.

The wine

The fact is, Champagne Salon is unique, born from a unique concept : a single grape variety, chardonnay ; a single terroir, the Côte des Blancs, a single cru village, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, a single year, its vintage.. just as Aimé Salon had imagined it in the early 1900s. The creative genius behind this exalted champagne, he forged from his idea a masterpiece of balance and dazzing elegance, exploding like fireworks in a riot of gold, the faintest shimmer of green here and there, brilliant and yet so subtle: Champagne Salon. In the 2002 vintage we finally have its true icon.

The vintage

What a year 2002 turned out to be ! In Champagne, particularly in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, weather conditions were notably unsettled, swinging between cool and warm, rain and dry : but no harsh frosts, no devastating downpours, and almost no hail. As a result the vines could not have been healthier. Pollen measurements at flowering indicated an abundant harvest – possibly too abundant – with bunches gaining weight fast. Would quality be up to scratch? While cautious growers thinned the crop, the issue resolved itself naturally as summer progressed, beautiful warm days concentrating the fruit and restoring perfect balance. The harvest began in mid-September, the 16th in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, in a cool snap with bright blue skies. The chardonnay grapes, harvested at just the right yields, turned out to be rich and powerful, every grape a reflection of its conditions. Add to this the human element – supreme effort, artistry, love – and the result is a wine of refinement, precision, balance; glinting, captivating like a samurai sword. For the image of battle could not be more apposite given the audacity and power, serene tension and selfassurance present in this 2002 vintage, here for us now to savour. Not just the soul of Salon, but its triumph.

Serving

Taste it and drink it just cool, between 13 and 15 degrees. Be ravished.

Tasting notes

It is pale gold in hue with hints of green. The nose is complex - orange flowers with the merest hint of honey-dew, candied citrus notes, madeleine buns warm from the oven. The palate is inordinately fine, long and straight as an arrow, bridling with energy yet restrained and precisely poised. Like the blade of a samurai sword as it slices clean through a stem, the flower soaring high, then falling softly through the air. Salon 2002 is a great romantic, but also armed for battle! Its strength and audacity give it the balance of a classical dancer.

Food pairing

Timeless classic dishes are the way to go for this creamy, suggestive champagne, this quintessence of Champagne Salon. Simple yet refined dishes such as lobster bisque, a Bresse chicken in cream, scallop carpaccio, truffle risotto, veal baked with morilles mushrooms, seabass in a salt crust. Or plainer still : caviar from Aquitaine, a few translucent slices of Bottarga, a whole Parma ham or an Iberico, a handful of golden shards from the heart of an old parmesan or cave-aged cheddar.

Champagne Salon 1999

Salon 1999 Champagne Natural sophistication 37th and last vintage of the 20th century, Salon 1999 Champagne has stirring perfection, the future power of an adolescent. Devilish beauty

The wine

37, the final count. There have only been 37 years worthy of Salon Champagne during the entire 20th century.

37 vintages, all different, all sublime, all unique, like this exceptional Salon Champagne, for which the word “one” is of prime importance: originally the champagne of one man, Aimé Salon, cultivated on one stretch of land, the Côte des Blancs, from one vineyard, Mesnil-sur-Oger, from one type of grape, Chardonnay and one year.

1999 is the thirty-seventh and last vintage of the 20th century: a wild nature, to be tamed, with power and expectancy, looking to a glorious future, still imminent.
It has the crazy charm of adolescence, this devilish beauty that is being transformed into magnificence.

The vintage

The most abundant grape harvest in the history of Champagne! One of the warmest years of the century! But, on the heels of a fairly mild winter and a warm early spring came a series of hailstorms. The weather settled and the Chardonnay grape flowers bloomed on 11 June – magnificent. Rain in early July and a surprise month of August: a cold spell and an eclipse of the moon on the 11th. The harvest promised to be splendid, started well but ended with rain. Production, which was already significant, increased further. However, some winegrowers were able to reduce the weight of the vines at the right time: as a result, the wines gained in alcohol content (an average of 10%) with a low level of acidity of 6.3% due to the heat of the summer and rain during picking. Powerful, profound, lively and complex wines.

Terroir

Soil and vintage: adolescent turmoil
What is this conflict, this duel creating confusion in 1999 Salon? Will soil or the vintage reign victorious over the other?
On one hand, the chalky “minerality” and vivacity specific to the soil of Mesnil-sur-Oger. On the other, the depth and sensual roundness that reflect the character of the vintage, without the over-ripeness sometimes found. It is from the tension between these forces that the 1999 Salon takes its personality – this delicate balance between proud adolescence, created from the potential of decades, given by its immense “minerality”, and its youthful ardour, extensive but under control. Fine character and devilish charm.

Serving

Savour it, drink it barely cold, between 13° and 15°. Sensual pleasure assured.

Tasting notes

A very pale yellow with barely green hints and a lively nose but still discreet, 1999 Salon, with its clear immediate taste, has that juvenile grace that captures the palate, itself straight, firm and textured. A quite natural sophistication that is a gift and persists just like the creamy bubbles.
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.
Ten years is all it has taken the 1999 Salon to reach dazzling maturity. Decades will follow.

Food pairing

Exquisite, delicate, gracious and subtle dishes. Warm oysters and Aquitaine caviar, a lightly cooked sea bass with a truffle risotto or calf’s sweetbreads with morel mushrooms. An excellent Parma or Iberico ham, the centre of a Parmesan cheese, aged for thirty-six months. Or simply by itself, with grilled almonds.

Champagne Salon 1997

Salon 1997: A sensuality of silk. Rare Salon vintages : the 36th vintage of Salon, and as its pinacle of sensuality the 1997 vintage.

The wine

Throughout winter and spring the climate alternated between mild weather and extreme cold.
On June 11th, flowering began in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger.
Summer was hot and dry, making for excellent ripening conditions. The harvest commenced on September 22nd; during picking the weather was summery but with cold evening temperatures, which encouraged good acidity.

In the vineyard

Throughout winter and spring the climate alternated between mild weather and extreme cold.
On June 11th, flowering began in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger.
Summer was hot and dry, making for excellent ripening conditions. The harvest commenced on September 22nd; during picking the weather was summery but with cold evening temperatures, which encouraged good acidity.

Tasting notes

The wine is pearlescent. A pale, lustrous gold with a fine, lively mousse.

The nose is complex yet ethereal. Wonderfully refined, it is intriguing and enticing. Its minerality complemented by hints of white flowers, acacia and hawthorn. A salty note enhances aromas of bread crust, brioche and the merest hint of green apple and hazelnut.

The palate is quintessentially pure, the very epitomy of balance and restraint. Exuberant on attack the mousse becomes more of a caress whilst bubbles dance playfully on the palate; its delicate allure emulating the sensuous grace of a silk veil at dawn.
Mastery character, elegance and bright vitality – Complex indeed.

Salon 1997: It is difficult to encapsulate where so many complementary and contradictory elements come together in such harmony. The finesse of silk, persistence, innate depth and power are allied to a lightness of touch. Serve slightly chilled between 13° and 15°C and its true subtlety will be revealed - feminine and seductive, voluptuousness without bounds.

Food pairing

Choose rare, but very simple dishes to accompany Salon Le Mesnil 1997

Its refined femininity and mysterious pale gold are in harmony with rare, noble produce: the exquisite freshness of the sea, scallop carpaccio, steamed lobster and spring vegetables, an adventurous risotto with strawberries and foie gras or simply a fine Parma ham, an Iberico or the heart of a 36-month matured parmesan.

Champagne Salon 1996

Champagne Salon 1996 : A pinnacle

The wine

One grape variety, one cru, one year – Salon Le Mesnil (first vintage 1905) was created by Aimé Salon, a passionate gentleman obsessed with perfection. His idea of Champagne was to fashion a masterpiece of balance and elegance, an explosive Champagne full of seductive aromas, full of character, yet subtle: Thus was born Salon Le Mesnil. Only a few thousand bottles are made in carefully selected vintages and offered for sale some ten years later.
The 1996 vintage – at the top of this rare, elite collection – is being compared to the legendary 1928.

The vintage

Rare are the vintages of Salon Le Mesnil, only 37 have been produced in the past century. Each new vintage has been a peak in the landscape of Champagne. Now Salon Le Mesnil is reaching the summit of the Himalayas with its 1996 vintage. Exploding with aromas and freshness, this new vintage offers breathtaking heights and extraordinary character.

In the vineyard

1996: Auspicious flowering on the summer solstice
Thanks to a warm spring, the vines flowered on June 21 in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Flowering on the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, is regarded as especially auspicious by the growers of Champagne. From this moment on, the intensity of the Côte des Blancs Grand Cru Chardonnay began to develop its unique characteristics, richness in sugar and high level of acidity. The Chardonnay grapes reached their maturity on September 23 in our vineyards of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger at which time hand-picking took place under the best conditions.

Serving

It is a virile, strongly built wine with restrained power, “feline like a snow tiger”, adds Depond. Taste it lightly chilled (between 13° and 15° – 55-60 F), so it reveals all its power, richness and penetrating aromas.

Tasting notes

Salon Le Mesnil 1996 is a pale yellow wine with hints of green, “as bright as the morning sun light on the highest snow caps” says Didier Depond, chairman of Champagne Salon Le Mesnil. With fine, active bubbles, it has both the electricity and impertinence of youth, yet shows complexity and layers of aromas.
On the palate, Salon Le Mesnil displays a remarkable subtlety of flavors with touches of green apples, fresh citrus – lemon and grapefruit – building into mellow hints of ripe pear and kiwi.

Food pairing

Pick rare, but very simple dishes to accompany Salon Le Mesnil 1996
Salon Le Mesnil’s restrained power, dazzling aromas and mesmerizing intensity will complement dishes that combine rarity with beauty, such as the finest seafood – lobster fragrant with seaweed; scallops; freshly-roasted cod sprinkled with a few drops of green olive oil – great Parma and Ibérico ham (fat and aromatic), a delicious potato gratin with caviar or a veal casserole with morel mushrooms.
With its green, shimmering hue, its full yet lively personality, Salon Le Mesnil 1996 has already reached new summits, and there it will stand for the next 50 years.

Champagne Salon 1995

CHAMPAGNE SALON 1995, The Spirit of Seduction

The wine

The elegance and complexity of the Salon Champagne 1995 vintage takes us to the lofty heights of the sublime.

In the vineyard

After a mild, wet winter, a sunny spring and warm but temperate summer, the grape harvest in Mesnil-sur-Oger started on 23 September that year in mild, sunny weather. The grapes were superb, with excellent maturity and a perfect balance between sweetness and acidity.

Serving

Due to the richness and complexity of its aromas and its exceptional, lingering finish, Salon champagne can be drunk in the same way as a great wine.

Salon champagne is generally drunk at cellar temperature, ideally between
12 and 13°. The structure and style of the 1995 vintage are best expressed when it is served between 13 and 15°.

It is preferable to use a glass with a curved rim, something like the “tulip” shape and allow the Salon champagne to “air” in the glass for a few minutes before tasting.

Tasting notes

Salon 1995 Champagne is pale yellow in colour, almost evanescent; it is fine and structured, with fine, regular bubbles, both lively and robust, a characteristic, complex nose with heady aromas of white flowers, honeysuckle, jasmine and orange blossom, developing gradually towards hints of lemon and exotic fruit, typical of Chardonnay.

The palate is powerful and well structured and has an immediate mineral taste, culminating in a warm and extremely sensual finish.

The elegance and complexity of the Salon Champagne 1995 vintage takes us to the lofty heights of the sublime.

Champagne Salon 1990

Salon 1990, Portrait of a great charming wine

The wine

Among those masterpieces that made the 20th century lighter and more beautiful, Champagne Salon punctuated the years with its 33 vintages. 1990, the last one for the moment, arrives with the new century: it is one of the most beautiful and the most charming.

In the vineyard

The bewitching paradox: the 1990 harvest
Each grape-berry is a memory: It is the concentration of the events of a whole year with its ups and downs and its rainy and sunny days. The year 1990 kept us in suspense.
First thrill: a first cold spell on April 5th bruised the Chardonnay grapes of the Côte des Blancs, followed by a second, even more devastating on April 19th. 45% of the vineyards are affected.
Then the early blossoming is spoiled by bad weather conditions, which will lead to flower abortion and millerandage (partial crop failure with mixed size berries). The winegrowers are feeling pretty uncomfortable and everybody is holding their breath.
The excellent conditions during maturation - These prevailed, without tiring, from the growing of the berries until the harvest– aided by the excellent know-how and the stroke of genius of the artist Alain Terrier, the result was extraordinary– almost magic.
The harvest started on September 14th in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Chardonnay grapes are extremely homogeneous and the astonishing balance of alcoholic and acidity gives its elegance and its brightness to this superb Vintage.

Serving

Its richness, the complexity of its aromas and its exceptional length on the palate allow you to taste Salon Champagne like a great wine. In order to keep its character intact you should serve Salon Champagne, not ice-cold, but at the temperature of the cellar – ideally between 10 and 12°. Before tasting, let it breathe some minutes in the glass, which preferably should have a curving rim, almost like a tulip.

Tasting notes

The Beauty of Time for a Vintage of Genius
Knowing how to age is the mark of great characters and the greatest wines are of this calibre: their ability of ageing is the mark of their quality.
Salon 1990 is that seducer who certainly will not fail, on the contrary, it is a promise, a blooming to come, a sparkle that lasts, the unlimited class of the real structured and living beauty.
Rich and delicate, fleshy and rounded, dense and elegant, it is fascinating and dumbfounds one with its rare qualities pronounced by a deep golden colour and a fine and delicate sparkle.



The nose is an aromatic explosion of lime, spices and candied oranges. With its wonderfully floral quality, it radiates freshness. So much so that as it develops it acquires a sweetness which envelops us and carries us away. It is like a young girl who is amazed as she has lived such a protected life. A mystery…

Food pairing

Classy for very sensual dishes.
This monument of the 20th century needs almost universal dishes. Its richness allows this multiple and colourful marriage. You can dare everything: Sushi can bowl you over, a risotto of white truffles is exulting, a great Parma or Spanish Ham – simplicity obliges the greatest – carries you to unsuspected heights. The most classical dishes will be enhanced through their union with Salon 1990 : think of oysters, even game, hare à la royale for instance. It is beyond your wildest dreams!

Champagne Salon 1988

The 1988 vintage : the concept of freshness

The wine

At Salon, only the exceptional years are judged fine enough to produce a Champagne vintage.This only arrives approximately every 2-3 years, and 1988 is the 31st vintage in 76 years. There are rare cases that two great years follow each other as in 1928 and 1929, and 1982 and 1983.

In the vineyard

1988 : The year of surprises.
Surprises, yes, for in climatic terms the weather this year was average, unremarkable even, alternating between scattered rain showers and spring sunshine, a non-eventful flowering, a fine fruit set, and finally a good harvest of ripe grapes, in reasonable quantity, and all picked on 26th September in the Côte des Blancs. All in all, a normal year for such a superb and complex wine. It puts one in mind of a dull pupil, who passes unnoticed all year and who suddenly reveals his genius and creates a stir at his final exams.

Serving

To keep its character intact, Salon should be served not chilled, but at cellar temperature, ideally between 10 and 12°c.

Tasting notes

Salon 1988 is Champagne Salon by another name, that is to say it expresses the best qualities and ideals of Salon : finesse and power, subtle aromas changing and developing on the nose and palate, evolving in the glass and in the mouth, but nevertheless, a wine with presence, with an aura.

Salon 1988 imposes itself by its complexity, by its ability to surprise which is the charm of a great seducer. But there are no elements of a Don Juan here : the wine is real, honest and faithful, a great lover.

In a fluted glass, a transparent clear gold colour shines. A fine mousse rises to form an ascending column, slow rising and spreading out in a persistent circular motion.

The nose is complex : warm toast and brioche, truffles, contrasted with hints of candied lemon and citrus fruits. On the second taste, the breadth of the wine explodes on the palate. It makes you dream of caviar to accompany the wine.
On the palate, tasted not too chilled in order for its subtleties to develop, and as well aired as it should be, Salon 1988 has a freshness and a silky, full elegance ; it is honeyed, with a marriage of citrus elements and the creamy, grilled aromas of ripe Chardonnay, and these elements bring to perfection the wonderful qualities of the 1988 vintage in Champagne.

This is followed by a cascade of secondary aromas, of trills, enchantments and crescendos : you can never reach agreement or harmony, it makes one think of Mozart….

It is typical Salon - -long in the mouth, flawless, clear, with faint dosage. Marvel at this Salon 1988 which allies finesse and power in a richness that delights like an opera.

Food pairing

Its richness, the complexity of its aromas as well as its exceptional length in the mouth allows Salon to be tasted as a great wine. As an aperitif or to accompany a Champagne dinner, one can match it voluntarily with fine and delicate foods such as belon, caviar, nages of fish and shellfish, scallops, foie gras, white meats, fresh fruit desserts…

Champagne Salon 1985

Salon 1985 : Millennium Miracle !

The wine

Salon is made entirely from Chardonnay grapes grown in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, one of the greatest and most distinctive crus of the Côte des Blancs.
Salon uses grapes from 100% rated vineyards only with vines all over 40 years old and growing on the mid-slopes. Limited yields are responsible for Salon’s extraordinary intensity of fruit.

The vintage

Why was Champagne Salon ’85 held until the Millennium ?

This was a vintage that mystified everyone ! Severe winter frosts had destroyed one in ten of every vine in Champagne. Despite the irregular maturity of the clusters at the end of the summer, superb sunny weather in September and October enabled the grapes to swell and ripen in perfect conditions. The beautiful late season even permitted a rare “ second harvest ” at the end of October. The quality was excellent, producing champagne of remarkable intensity.

Salon 1985 is distinguished by its elegance and great complexity. It is described by Alain Terrier, Salon’s oenologist, as : “ Bright gold, light and glittering, with aromas of candied fruits, hazelnut, and a touch of vanilla. On the palate, the first impression is of freshness and abundant Chardonnay fruit ; the finish is long and persistent. The wine displays a rarely achieved balance of strength and complexity ”.

Champagne Salon 1983

The wine

At Salon, only the exceptional years are judged fine enough to produce a Champagne vintage. This is extremely rare when two great years follow each other such as 1928 and 1929, 1982 and 1983.

Serving

To keep its character intact, Salon should be served not chilled, but at cellar temperature, ideally between 10 and 12°c.

Tasting notes

With its yellow gold colour, of good intensity, its typical nose, complex with fruity aromas of fresh figs, bergamot, anise, and also of grilled bread, butter, vanilla and wax; a palate of steeped and dried fruits, the 1983 vintage Salon is rich, creamy, powerful and superbly fresh. It is an all-powerful wine, long in the mouth with a fresh, fine, and persistent palate. Its richness, the complexity of its aromas as well as its exceptional length in the mouth allows Salon to be tasted as a great wine. As an aperitif or to accompany a champagne dinner, one can match it happily with fine and delicate food such as oysters, caviar, fish, scallops, foie gras, white meats, fresh fruit desserts …

Food pairing

Its richness, the complexity of its aromas as well as its exceptional length in the mouth allows Salon to be tasted as a great wine. As an aperitif or to accompany a Champagne dinner, one can match it voluntarily with fine and delicate foods such as belon, caviar, nages of fish and shellfish, scallops, foie gras, white meats, parmesan...

Champagne Salon 1982

The vintage

Late departure of vegetation, although with extremely favourable weather conditions, the vines developed without a hitch. For all varieties, emergence of very fine clusters. Although the vines had not produced in two years, they gave their very best. Good ripeness of the harvest thanks to superb September sunshine. Harvesting commenced on 17th and 20th September depending on the variety and vineyard. The Chardonnays are well balanced, very fine and elegant.

Champagne Salon 1979

The vintage

Late bud-burst. Emergence of fine Chardonnay clusters. Rapid flowering of white grapes. Harvesting commenced between 3rd and 8th October, depending on the terroir. The grapes generally all very healthy with alcoholic content exceeding 9° and acidity just below 9°. The 1979 wines are characterised by a very distinct neatness and a particularly striking aromatic power of the Chardonnay.

Champagne Salon 1976

The vintage

Bud-burst took place between 6th and 21st April depending on the variety and the precocity of the terroir. The emergence of clusters was considered generous. Flowering, from around 10th-15th June, came early. Summer weather was extremely hot, the soil already exceptionally dry and drought widespread over the vineyards. The speed of the ripening period, from early August, surprised the majority of winegrowers on holiday and forced to make a hasty retreat to prepare for the harvest. Ripening came extremely early, with a mere 84 days between flowering and harvesting. The grapes were perfectly healthy with low acidity. The excellent ripeness and high degree obtained for the musts, their low acidity produced a wine highlighting particular characteristics with an exceptional constitution. Robust, extremely vinous and supple.

Champagne Salon 1973

The vintage

Hail on 3rd May caused damage on the heights of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Flowering took place in excellent conditions. A very dry summer despite occasional storms. Harvesting began on 28th September. Good quality.

Champagne Salon 1971

The vintage

There was rapid emergence of vegetation, although spring frosts (between 27th and 29th April) affected 1000 hectares. The hailstorm of 27th May alone destroyed 650 hectares. Cold weather took hold in June, with flowering in very bad weather conditions, extending from June through to early July. Exceptional weather in July, but hail and windy weather from 27th July to 18th August completely annihilated 2650 hectares. Major erosion problems. Harvesting commenced on 18th September. Good quality.

Champagne Salon 1969

The vintage

Frequent violent summer storms, with hail affecting significant areas in a number of vineyards - close to 900 hectares were completely destroyed. Harvesting began in the dry and sunny weather of 1st October and lasted fifteen days. The harvest was healthier than in the two previous years. Very good quality.

Champagne Salon 1966

The vintage

Flowering went well. May to August storms caused a total loss of some 200 hectares across Champagne. Harvesting began in very acceptable conditions on 26th September, revealing white grapes in the peak of health. Good quality.

Champagne Salon 1964

The vintage

Flowering, speedily reaching full bloom stage, then delayed by the cold, ended well. Harvesting began on 16th September in rain which continued for 48 hours, followed by hot and sunny weather. The temperature rose as picking advanced with no notable drop in acidity. Excellent quality.

Champagne Salon 1961

The vintage

Flowering languid at the start, very rapid from full bloom stage to completion. Harvesting commenced on 20th September in excellent conditions, revealing a good health status. Fine quality.

Champagne Salon 1959

The vintage

Although flowering got off to a slow start, the rhythm intensified followed by rapid fruit setting. Harvesting started on 10th September, revealing excellent ripeness, helped by exceptional climatic conditions throughout the summer. Very good quality.

Champagne Salon 1956

The vintage

Winter frosts caused particularly severe damage to the vines in several areas. Starting on the 8th October, the harvest was quickly and efficiently completed despite serious sorting. Medium quality.

Champagne Salon 1955

The vintage

Frosts in May over all Champagne affected 1500 hectares in the Marne, whereof 400 to 500 were completely destroyed. Flowering got off to a slow start, before picking up speed and completing in a few days. Fruit set of rare perfection. Underway in the majority of communes at the beginning of October, the harvest revealed an excellent health status. Good quality.

Champagne Salon 1953

The vintage

Frost in May affecting large areas, but not with such severity. Although flowering got off to a good start, but later proved slower than expected. Particularly healthy harvest, beginning on 15th September under clement skies. Due to heavy rainfall a few days before harvesting, the grapes suddenly filled out considerably. Very good quality.

Champagne Salon 1951

The vintage

Catastrophic frosts affecting three-quarters of the vineyards and reducing total potential by at least 70%. Very early bud break. Blossoming in most regions with re-emergence deemed consistent over the various vine varieties after the frost. Cold snap disrupting flowering throughout. Late harvest (1st October) in good, dry but chilly weather. Healthy clusters. Medium quality.

Champagne Salon 1949

The vintage

Flowering was spread out over three weeks due to cold weather. Harvesting started on 19th September and was finished rapidly. Sudden development of rot during picking, with limited losses.

Champagne Salon 1948

The vintage

Hailfall in May, July and August. Flowering unfavourably influenced by atmospheric elements. Attack of grey rot at the end of August and the beginning of September, but clearing with the return of good weather. Appearing healthy, the harvest (from 20th September) nonetheless showed the effects of botrytis.

Champagne Salon 1947

The vintage

Very rapid flowering, complete on 10th June. The harvest commencing 5th September was the earliest since 1893 and perfect in all respects. Good quality.

Champagne Salon 1946

The vintage

Early bud-burst and exceptional emergence. Slow and irregular flowering. The weather improved a few days before harvesting at the end of September. Relatively satisfactory harvest. Medium quality.

Champagne Salon 1943

The vintage

Flowering in low temperatures with frequent showers. Harvesting from 15th September of excellent healthy grapes. Exceptional quality.

Champagne Salon 1942

The vintage

Frosts on 4th and 5th May mainly causing damage in the Marne valley. Flowering took place in the best conditions. Good quality.

Champagne Salon 1937

The vintage

Very speedy harvest. Harvesting was carried out on 21st September in warm and dry weather, although laborious due to rigorous sorting. Good quality overall.

Champagne Salon 1934

The vintage

Damage from May frosts, but only about 6% of potential crop. Rapid flowering progressed well. Insignificant damage from disease and insects.

Champagne Salon 1928

The vintage

Frosts in May, the Côte des Blancs sustaining the worst of it. Some hailfall hit diverse vineyards, resulting in some losses. Flowering more or less normal, although somewhat extended. Harvesting started off on a sun-filled 28th September, although ending on a rainy note. Healthy harvest of exceptional quality.

Champagne Salon 1925

The vintage

Hailfall on the Côte des Blancs and the Montagne de Reims, with notable losses. Flowering disrupted by often cold nights. Harvesting lasting over a month. Quality judged rather good.

Champagne Salon 1921

The vintage

Catastrophic black frosts on 15th/16th April, with the thermometer dropping to -7°C the first night with an occasional -9°C the following day, while temperatures varied between 24°C and 28°C from 11th to 14th April. Estimated losses comparable to 1873 - about 80% of the crop. However conditions more favourable to the development of the vine during the campaign. Perfect flowering. Harvesting went very quickly. Exceptional quality.

Champagne Salon 1914

The vintage

Protracted flowering. Powerful mildew attack in early July but without noticeable damage. The harvest started on 28th September and took place under the best possible conditions. Excellent quality.

Champagne Salon 1911

The vintage

Early flowering held up to its promises. Summer drought with harvesting from 10th to 12th September in splendid weather conditions. Perfect ripeness. Exceptional quality.

Champagne Salon 1909

The vintage

Heavy winter frosts, returning early spring until mid-May. Early and satisfactory flowering. Harvesting started on 26th September, mostly in the rain.

Champagne Salon 1905

The vintage

There were several bouts of frost in May. A number of hailstorms in June and July wreaked havoc. Satisfactory flowering. The harvest began in the last ten days of September.

BRILLIANT

EUGÈNE-AIMÉ
SALON

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Eugène-Aimé Salon was born on 7th October 1867 in Pocancy, a village at the foot of the Côte des Blancs in Champagne.

Having little interest in the family farm and even less in the career of primary school teacher also on the cards, Eugène-Aimé Salon opted to try his luck in commerce, moving to Paris. Young and enthusiastic, he managed to secure a position with the furrier Chapal in Montreuil. Initially a boy Friday, he worked hard and stepped up, assuming more and more responsibility, taking charge of the company’s development strategy, leading to its expansion and great success. As the new century dawned, he was one of the key figures of Paris’glittering society circuit.

CREATIVE
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Energetic, intelligent, running constantly on business between Paris and New York – there was no sale in New York, London or Paris in which he was not involved – he loved life and lived it to the full, adored pleasure and the finer things, and, it goes without saying given his champenois origins, the best champagne.

He also had a dream. He dreamt of a champagne of incomparable finesse, a unique wine for him alone; a champagne that would stand apart.

His ties to Champagne had emained strong through the years, and he had the perfect advisor in his brother-in-law, a cellar master. He realised he must buy some land, and set to work. He compared the respective merits of vineyards in Cramant, Avize, Oger and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, finding the grapes from Le Mesnil best suited to produce wines with the greatest ageing potential. He chose the Côte des Blancs to be his terroir, the best cru, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, and the best plots in the terroir, those located above the church, where the balance between sugar content and acidity is perfect. His vision became clear: he would make an unblended champagne for his own personal consumption.

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CHARDONNAY
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In 1905, he created the Blanc de Blancs, as he called it, quite simply. His many friends were delighted with it and, once some years had passed since the tragic events of World War I, encouraged him to make more of it for their own enjoyment. Thus, the house of Champagne Salon was founded in 1920 for this enthusiastic clientele.

From then on, Champagne Salon was a feature in all the most popular places. Maxim’s made it the house champagne in the Roaring Twenties. Eugène-Aimé Salon was always welcome there, mingling in diverse political circles, defending his convictions about Europe and was a member of the well-known ‘Club des Cents’ (an exclusive gourmet society). Everybody wanted to drink his champagne. Salon was ground-breaking for the time, given it was a wine produced from the Chardonnay grape variety alone. No Champagne brand had marketed a single-variety wine before World War I. In this way, Eugène-Aimé Salon was the pioneer of the Blanc de Blancs style.

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UNWAVERING
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He enjoyed remarkable success and an extremely pleasant life. Passionate about the culinary arts (he employed two chefs at his country house in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger), he had very fixed ideas about dishes, how they should be prepared, and about the wines that should be served with them.

Since the 1928 vintage, one that earned Salon the unanimous recognition of connoisseurs, Eugène-Aimé’s uncompromising standards prevail. The wine is made in exceptional vintages only, volumes are limited, and winemaking processes remain unchanged.

PIONEERING
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A native of Champagne, Eugène-Aimé Salon was also a European, and in the Thirties was politically involved in the movement for a peaceful, modern Europe, alongside Louise Weiss (his name appears in the « Premiers Européens » yearbook for 1931). Eugène-Aimé Salon was a prominent figure in Parisian life in the Roaring Twenties and had many friends, notably in political and parliamentary circles, where he was unafraid to express his highly progressive ideas.

In his lifetime and still today, long after his death in 1943, the image of Eugène-Aimé Salon remains that of a pioneer and visionary, a man of ideas, free and creative. His champagne is the legacy of this ongoing quest for beauty, a symbol of generosity and of the enduring human desire to share with others our most sublime creation.

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