1999 Salon Cuvee ‘S’ Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Brut (Case of 6 bottles in OWC)

$9,180

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.

95 points, Robert Parker

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Description

Salon is a story of the singular. One champagne of one variety from one vintage sourced from one region (Côte des Blancs) and one village (Le Mesnil-sur-Oger): there is only one Salon. Founded in 1911, Champagne Salon is also the creation of just one man, Eugène-Aimé Salon. A Champagne connoisseur enchanted and then seduced by the terroir of Le Mesnil, he created Champagne’s first Blanc de Blancs at the beginning of the 20th century: originally only for personal consumption! The first known vintage was 1905 and since then, just forty more have been released.

The grapes used in the Salon blend come from ten hectares and twenty plots and the concentratedly fruity style of the House derives from their super-concentrated yield of very old vines. Purchased by Laurent-Perrier in 1989, today they share a Cellar Master and vineyard with next-door neighbour and sister company, Champagne Delamotte. Salon is a true rarity, with a maximum annual production of 60,000 bottles that invariably disappear into the cellars of collectors. With only ten employees (six in the cellar and four in the office) and riddling performed by hand, attention to detail is the key to Salon’s prowess.

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