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Salon 2002 Investment
Salon is a story of the singular. One wine of one variety from one vintage, sourced from one region (Côte de Blancs) and one village (Le Mesnil-sur-Oger); there is only one Salon. Founded in 1911, Champagne Salon is the creation of one man, Eugène-Aimé Salon, a champagne connoisseur enchanted then seduced by the terroir of Le Mesnil. At the beginning of the 20th century he created Champagne’s first Blanc de Blancs, originally only for personal consumption and the first known vintage was 1905.
The fruit of the single-hectare vineyard of Jardin de Salon is currently declassified to Delamotte, as the vines are just 14 years old, and will not be included in Salon for at least another three years. This Champagne is therefore produced from 19 longstanding growers in Mesnil-sur-Oger, who sell their fruit only to Salon. There is no non-vintage, so production is limited to only the finest years, of which the current release, 2002, is just the 38th since 1905.
The wines are cellared in the bottle for an average of 10 years, gaining in complexity and finesse. With only 10 employees (six in the cellar and four in the office), riddling performed by hand and typically only 50,000 bottles produced; attention to detail is the key to Salon's prowess.
The 2002 Vintage
The 2002 Champagne vintage needs no introduction, with light rain in early September, followed by clear skies until harvest allowing grapes to reach perfect ripeness, creating some of the best Champagnes.
Salon Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs 2002 is no exception and has been the subject of rapturous praise since its release at the end of 2013. It received instant admiration from JancisRobinson.com’s Richard Hemming, who scored it a perfect 20/20, commenting, “As is often said of the very best champagnes, this is wine first and sparkling second.” Critical acclaim continued throughout 2014, with a string of 98 and 99-point ratings from the Wine Spectator and James Suckling, respectively, before its illustrious status was cemented by Roger Voss of Wine Enthusiast, who awarded Salon 2002 its second perfect score, 100/100, in November 2014.
Didier Depond, President of Salon Delamotte, considers 2002 the perfect image of Salon, of Blanc de Blancs and of Le Mesnil. “The 2002 vintage is one of the best vintages we have ever produced in Champagne,” says Didier. “We continue to produce in small volume – only 62,000 bottles have been made of the Salon 2002.”
A key element of Champagne investment is the limited production, and therefore supply, of prestige cuvées. Limited production renders Champagne finite and as bottles are drunk and not replaced, stock in the market depletes and prices naturally rise as the product becomes more and more rare. This principle has never been more applicable than with Salon. With such a minute scale of operation at the House in Le Mesnil, and typically only around 50,000 bottles of each vintage produced, Salon experiences low availability even at release and is thereafter increasingly hard to source. To put this into context, Mouton Rothschild, one of the most popular Bordeaux’s for investment, has an annual production of around 240,000 bottles, nearly five times the amount of Salon.
As the graph below demonstrates, the 1996 vintage experienced a whopping 95.5% market price increase during a four-year period from early 2011 to early 2015, rising from £2,300 to £4,400 per 12 x 75cl case.
Salon, like other prestige Champagne brands, is also subject to a vintage premium - increasing in value with age. The 2002 vintage, despite already having a higher market price average than the 1999 and 1997 vintages, still maintains the lowest price-over-points ratio, due to its astonishingly high ratings. This suggests it is currently the best value vintage.
|Salon POP scores by vintage|
|Vintage||Av. case price||Av. score||POP|
Data as at 20th March 2015
Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast - 100/100 - “The 38th 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.”
Richard Hemming, JancisRobinson.com - 20/20 - “62,000 bottles and 5,000 magnums made. Salon were the only house that didn't release a 2000, according to them. This 2002 is therefore the next vintage following their 1999. The nose is beautifully open - buttercream, bakery dough with a saline and flint character too. Impeccable but very subtle fruit. This is excellence done by degrees. There's a floral quality, and a smoky, reductive edge too. Even some honey. It's only just entering its drinking window. As is often said of the very best champagnes, this is wine first and sparkling second.”
Wine Valuation & Selling
Customers who purchase from The Finest Bubble and cellar with us will have access to independent valuation data from Liv-ex for Champagne held in their reserves through an online personal account. When you come to sell your Champagne, The Finest Bubble may make an offer to buy depending on market conditions, however you are not tied to selling through us. If you need us to assist in selling the champagne we can do this for a 4% charge. There are no costs for providing this valuation information.
We have presented information that shows the historical case for Salon as an investment and any forward looking statements are forecasts and not guarantees. Since the value of any investment can go down as well as up we recommend you consult with an accredited financial expert before making investment decisions.
We are able to help you with our opinion on what champagnes and which vintages we believe offer the right qualities to consider cellaring for 5-10 years and help with up to the minute market data showing valuations, trends and transaction quantity for every champagne. We are not able to offer financial advice or advice on investments.
To discuss this further please contact Nick or Chris 020 7359 1608 or email us via the contact page.Last Updated: 20th March 2015