In 2014, Salon’s president Didier Depond said that a 2012 from Salon would not be released. A climatically challenging vintage, 2012 was a year in which Pinot Noir reined supreme, and was thus not a year that favoured the all-Chardonnay house of Salon. Depond was quoted at the time as saying, “Since 2008, there has been no genuinely great vintage in Champagne.”
However, upon producing a champagne that was instantly both rewarding and generous, Depond changed his mind and with good reason too: the critics have already claimed that Champagne Salon Blanc de Blancs 2012, after the 2008, may well be the finest Salon produced this millennium. The House commented: “Mother Nature likes to play tricks. Over in the vats, a miracle was taking place, a grand vin was emerging, with the hint of a smile – ‘gotcha!’ The vintage had everything all along: sugars, fine acidity, magnificent potential… the only thing left to do now, was wait. And see the vignerons smile once more.”
Produced on average only three times per decade, the 2012 vintage is the 43rd Salon to be released from this tiny house in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Champagne’s finest and rarest Blanc de Blancs, Salon is the legacy of Eugène-Aimé Salon who devoted his life to creating the perfect pure-Chardonnay champagne setting up the Maison in 1911. Salon is always made from Chardonnay grapes grown in a one hectare plot at the back of the Maison, “The Salon Garden” and 19 other plots on the deep chalk soils of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger.
The 2012 weather has been hallmarked by many as very challenging but has created some stunning champagnes across the region. The winter months brought some frosts and hail which damaged the early stages of bud burst, resulting in relatively low yields. However, a very warm August and September helped rescue the vintage and gave the grapes a stunning maturity. Picking started on 17th September.
Champagne Salon Blanc de Blancs 2012 is Chardonnay in its purest form, made in the reductive style – so no oak. This vintage bears all the hallmarks of a classic Salon; rich expressive fruit typical of the 2012 vintage and the unmistakeable chalky structure, the elegance belying much power beneath. Bottles are available from late January 2022 and magnums will follow later in the year.
What the critics say about Champagne Salon Blanc de Blancs 2012
The Previous Vintage: Champagne Salon Blanc de Blancs 2008
Past Vintages of Salon
For a full breakdown of all 43 vintages of Salon ever produced, see Champagne Salon: The 43 Vintages from 1905-2012.