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Average Review Score: 4.9
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Average Review Score: 4.9
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Champagne Salon Blanc de Blancs 1996

Disgorgement in Autumn 2021

Per Bottle
£2,200.00
Delivery Requires up to 2 Working Days Stored Professionally in-bond outside London LCB Eton Park
Description & Technical Information
-
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 this release, 1999, is just the 36th 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.

This 1996 Blanc de Blancs is Salon's 35th vintage from 100% Chardonnay; Salon describes it as “sensuality of silk.” This was a summer marked by hot and dry conditions, making for excellent ripening. The harvest commenced on September 22nd; during picking the weather was summery but with cold evening temperatures, which encouraged good acidity.

Salon is typically released at 10-12 years following the harvest. On release Salon is “fruit forward” and expressive, often “closing down” for anything from 3 to 10 years. It is after this time Salon really shines, the racy mineral freshness seem lessened and the fruit develops more than primary fruit character into an exquisite champagne with freshness, complexity & an abundance of dried fruits, especially orange, lemon and dried grass. There is no established “late disgorgement” program at Salon, a small numbers of bottles are often released at later dates like this parcel disgorged in the autumn of 2021. Confusingly the “late disgorged” bottles are labelled as normal so you would need to use our invoice and rotation codes in your bond to keep track of these. With longer lees ageing the late release Salon’s have a more “fresh profile” than the original release and will be more textural on the palate.

Vineyards: 100% Grand Cru | Le Mesnil-sur-Oger
Grape Varieties: 100% Chardonnay
Lees Ageing: 24 years
Disgorgement: Autumn 2021
Dosage: 7 g/l
Drink: Now to 2040+

Tasting Note: Stunningly complex bouquet of citrus oil, confit lemon, dried white flowers and oyster shell, with hints of praline and pastry cream becoming more pronounced as the wine opens up in the glass. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, deep and multidimensional, defined by the incisive spine so typical of the vintage that, here, is cloaked in layers of crisp fleshy and chalky extract. The finish is long, penetrating and saline. - Tasting by William Kelley
Champagne Salon Overview
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Expert Reviews
99/100
Antonio Galloni
“The 1996 Salon is just dazzling. It needs a good bit of air to fully open up, but the 1996 Salon is simply a mesmerizing Champagne that sizzles with energy, cut and total precision. A second bottle later in the week was every bit as compelling. When the 1996 Salon is on, it is just about as great as Champagne gets. ”
99/100
William Kelley
“This bottle of the 1996 Blanc de Blancs Le Mesnil Brut was drinking superbly and represents the apotheosis of Blanc de Blancs, unfurling over the course of three hours with a stunningly complex bouquet of citrus oil, confit lemon, dried white flowers and oyster shell, with hints of praline and pastry cream becoming more pronounced as the wine opens up in the glass. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, deep and multidimensional, defined by the incisive spine so typical of the vintage that, here, is cloaked in layers of crisp fleshy and chalky extract. The finish is long, penetrating and saline. Unfortunately, since the 1996 Salon has been traded so zealously over the last decade, finding a bottle that hasn't travelled too far can be a challenge. But from a perfectly stored bottle, this is just the beginning.”
94 → 98/100
Essi Avellan MW
“The combination of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger’s raw power, Salon’s inox-fermented non-maloed winemaking and the extremities of the 1996 vintage suggest a masochistic experience. But miraculously the result is one of all times finest Salons (given that you love the sensation of acidity, a prerequisite of any Salon fan). This is truly razor-shard and driven, aging painfully slow for the impatient. ”
98/100
Antonio Galloni
“The 1996 Salon is just beginning to enter the early part of its plateau of maturity. Time in bottle has softened some of the razor-sharp focus the 1996 had when it was first released, but all of the energy it had as a young Champagne remains. A host of candied lemon, almonds and wild flowers punctuate the sculpted, persistent finish. Readers who own the 1996 can look forward to another two decades or more of exceptional drinking. This is the ultimate expression of Champagne as wine.”
News Articles
  1. Champagne Salon: The 43 Vintages from 1905-2012

    Champagne Salon: The 43 Vintages from 1905-2012

    January 18, 2022

    Produced on average only three times per decade, there have been just 43 vintages of Salon released from this tiny house in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger since the very first in 1905. Here we list all of the vintages produced in the history of this famous house.
  2. New: Champagne Salon Blanc de Blancs 2012

    New: Champagne Salon Blanc de Blancs 2012

    January 13, 2022

    The 2012 vintage is the 43rd Salon to be released from this tiny house in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and will be available in late January 2022, with magnums to follow later in the year.
  3. Champagne Salon Blanc de Blancs 2008

    Champagne Salon Blanc de Blancs 2008

    September 29, 2019

    Not many champagnes are as eagerly anticipated as Salon 2008. Produced only in magnums (just 8,000 were made) and exclusively available as part of a specially designed wooden case, the ultimate rarity just got rarer. We met president Didier Depond in June to find out more.
  4. Single Vineyard Champagne: Fad or Future?

    Single Vineyard Champagne: Fad or Future?

    January 19, 2019

    Since the early 21st century, a quiet revolution has been occurring in Champagne, and the ever-burgeoning demand for artisanal, hand-crafted cuvées continues to flourish. What are the origins of single vineyard champagnes, why are they so popular, and are they a fad or the future?
  5. Champagne Salon Blanc de Blancs 2006

    Champagne Salon Blanc de Blancs 2006

    August 1, 2017

    Last month, the tiny yet ultra-prestigious Champagne Salon released their latest vintage: Salon Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs 2006. Just the 40th release since its inception in 1905, this is another seriously rare cuvée with outstanding ageing potential. Read tasting notes and more info here.
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