Salon Blanc de Blancs Le Mesnil-sur-Oger 1997
Vintage from Champagne, France
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Alcohol By Volume: 12.0%
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
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 epitome of balance and restraint. Exuberant on
entry, the mousse becomes more of a caress, while bubbles dance playfully on the palate.
Elegance, finesse, bright vitality, depth and power allied with a lightness of touch—it
is difficult to encapsulate so many complementary and contradictory elements coming
together in harmony.
Refined, feminine and seductive, voluptuous yet restrained, and superbly
balanced, this vintage compares stylistically to the great 1988.
According to Didier Depond, Director of the House of Champagne Salon, this singular
wine should be served in a tulip-shaped glass rather than a narrow champagne flute. He says,
"We have found that Salon can be drunk in the same way as a great wine. Due to the
richness and complexity of its aromas and its exceptional, lingering finish, this style of
glass allows the wine to breathe more freely.
"Lightly burnished yellow-gold hue with a halo-like mousse. Lovely aged aromas of citrus, mineral and brioche. Citrus flavors of grapefruit and lemon peel laced with char and chalk. Lively, youthful finish embodies a perfectly dry, acidic brut style. With every release, this quintessential Blanc de Blancs sets the standard for chardonnay-based Champagne. $500 / 785 cases imported."
The Wine News
"That these wines are both expensive and superb as a class comes as no surprise, and yet, even in the midst of such excellence, this bottling stands out for its full, rich, developed, incisively toasty first notes followed by deep, rich, chalky, hazelnut, honey and nicely fruity smells and flavors of extraordinary depth and volume. It captures a perfect mix of richness in its mousse and texture with the slight austerity one wants in Champagne, and, for all of its complexity, it promises to unwind further with age."
"The fabled Salon's latest release is much riper and softer than the great steely 1996 vintage. This suggests it is likely to be ready to drink soon. In the meantime, the acidity is supremely fresh, with grapefruit edges and green apple flavors. And then there is minerality and a tight, structured aftertaste as a reminder that this great Champagne is always going to be more than its fruit. "
"The pure essence of limestone, this vintage is maturing into the grandeur of a great Le Mesnil Champagne while remaining fresh and lively. It offers rich lemon curd and
baked apple flavors, chalky power and gravitas without weight. The flavors remain impacted below the limestone earthiness, the wine's structure and balance suited to extended aging."
Wine & Spirits
"Walnut oil and smoky suggestions of struck flint in the nose of Salon’s 1997 Brut Le Mesnil are joined by intimation of the fresh lime and grapefruit that go on to inform its silken yet vivacious and refreshing palate with metaphorically cooling and sorbet-like refreshment. There is a vivid, hauntingly long, wave-like and buoying exchange of chalk and oyster shell, kelp and iodine with luscious citrus against a backdrop of creamy richness. This superb Salon – slightly more restrained than its 1999 counterpart, but no less intriguing or alluring – will merit at least a decade of cellaring.
The Wine Advocate
"An elegant and very fresh but distinctly yeasty nose of stupendous breadth leads to incredibly intense, pure, detailed and vibrant flavors that possess superb depth and simply knockout length. This is a powerful Salon and even though it doesn’t have the solid acid spine of the very best vintages, this compensates by its approachability and terrific mouth feel."
"Salon's 1997 Brut Blanc de Blancs is drop-dead gorgeous. There is a beautiful tension between the intense minerality of Mesnil and the warmth of the vintage. Textural depth, brilliance and expressive inner perfume are the hallmarks of this gorgeous Blanc de Blancs. Flowers, mint and crisp varietal fruit linger on the impeccable finish. This is a particularly youthful, vibrant disgorgement of the 1997 that can be enjoyed now or cellared. Disgorged First Trimester, 2010."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni
"Light yellow with a slow bead. Deeply perfumed nose displays waxy orchard and pit fruit scents, along with toasty lees, woodsmoke and wet stone. Weighty pear and yellow peach flavors are given a bitter edge by fruit skin and quinine qualities, picking up salty minerals on the back end. Finishes with firm grip and powerful echoes of minerals and pear skin. This is already beginning to show complexity. "
International Wine Cellar
"A delicate Champagne, with hints of honey and smoke winding through the apple pastry, orange peel and toast flavors. This is well-integrated, but the lively acidity still has the edge on the graphite-laced finish. Drink now through 2018. Tasted twice, with consistent notes."
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Learn About Salon Map It
Situated in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger in the Cote des Blancs, the House of Salon produces only one Champagne, the Cuvee S. This Champagne comes from a 2.5-acre vineyard owned by Salon (Le Jardin de Salon, or Salon's Garden) and from 19 smaller parcels representing 22.5 acres of vineyards in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, all chosen by founder Eugene-Aime Salon early in the 20th century. There have...
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Learn About Champagne
Champagne is both a region and a method. The wines come from the northernmost vineyards in France and the name conjures an image like no other can. An 18th Century Benedictine monk named Dom Perignon is said to be the first to blend both varietals and vintages, making good wines not only great, but also special and unique to their winemaker. Today, nearly 75% of Champagne...
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Learn About Vintage
Vintage Champagne and Sparkling Wines
Vintage Champagne is made in particularly good years with optimum weather and the best grape selection.
Some houses, like Dom Perignon, only make vintage Champagne,
so they do not produce a wine every year and have no
What makes vintage Champagne better? Well, status for one - many vintage Champagnes are...
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