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Salon Blanc de Blancs Le Mesnil 2006

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
  • V97
  • RP96
  • WS95
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  • BH94
0% ABV
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5.0 1 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The name Le Mesnil resonates in a special way with lovers of great wine. Nestled in the heart of the Cote des Blancs, 100% Chardonnay and 100% grand cru, this is the king of Champagne vineyards.

First of all, just wait. Once Salon 2006 has been uncorked, leave it a little while, to breathe, to open up. Then, just look at it: its shimmering golden color, glinting silver and green. The never-ending bubbles, so tiny, setting free the familiar bewitching scents of Salon in its first flush. Notes of white flowers, citrus zest, lightly toasted brioche. Then the glass fills magically with autumnal tones, fresh hazelnuts, praline, dried apricot, ripe yellow fruits. A romantic of the highest order, Salon 2006 embodies the carefree spirit of youth, tempered by experience. And there lies its true enigma and charm. To know restraint but be generous, to combine lightness with solidity. This sense of duality is confirmed in the impeccable palate structure – it is all in the education of course. Simultaneously rich and incisive, with the fine linear acidity to permit cellaring for 30 years, Salon 2006 has a long future ahead.

Matching Salon 2006 to food is a sensual delight: from diaphanous slices of Iberico ham – a brilliant pairing - to an ultra-dark chocolate tart, truffled mash, or even sublime truffled eggs, a carpaccio of tuna, all classic favorites.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
V 97
Vinous
The 2006 Salon is a very rich wine, almost uncharacteristically so. Deep and exotic the 2006 exudes richness in all of its dimensions, with myriad inflections of sumptuous fruit that fill out its ample, large-scaled frame. Today, the 2006 is surprisingly accessible for a young Salon, but it needs time to shed some baby fat. At times, the 2006 recalls the 2002, but it appears to have more phenolic intensity and overall structure. Even with all of its flamboyance and pure volume, the 2006 retains quite a bit of energy and freshness. I imagine it will be a fascinating, utterly compelling Champagne to follow over the next several decades.
RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2006 Salon Blanc de Blancs Le Mesnil Brut has a shining silver-golden color, the bubbles are tiny and enormously fine—they probably wouldn't stop rising from the bottom of the glass if you left the wine in it instead of drinking it. On the nose, there is a fascinating, pure and fresh bouquet with acacia, chalk, incense and concentrated lemon flavors. The 2006 is mouthfilling, round and elegant on the palate, as well as dense and tight but also fresh and cleansing, provided with great finesse, mineral complexity, length and structure. The finish is clear and aromatic, round and well balanced, slightly creamy, very intense, greatly finessed and truly elegant, with stimulating salinity in the aftertaste.
Rating: 96+
WS 95
Wine Spectator
The creamy mousse of this graceful Champagne caresses the palate like cashmere, carrying a beautiful range of glazed nectarine, chopped almond, pastry and candied ginger flavors framed by vivid acidity. Seamless, with a long, lasting finish accented by minerally chalk and saline notes. Drink now through 2031.
D 95
Decanter
This is just the 40th vintage of Salon, the first being the 1905 vintage. 2006 was a warm, ripe year, generally forward. Most grapes were a touch low in acidity, although grand cru Chardonnays - particularly in Mesnil - had higher levels. Salon's 2006 has sunny scents of lilac and peach with citrus drive. The mouthfeel is sumptuous yet mineral, showing early charm but with grip to age.
BH 94
Burghound.com
A restrained, cool and pure nose speaks of citrus, green apple, petrol, yeast and an interesting hint of quinine. The equally restrained, intense and wonderfully pure flavors are classic Salon with their slight edge of youthful austerity coupled with first-rate flavor authority and punch, all wrapped in a lemon rind-inflected and drier than usual finish that goes on and on. This is very classy juice though I stress that it is also markedly backward and in need of plenty of bottle age. Moreover, this is decidedly unlike most 2006s as it in unusually dry without a trace of exoticism. Lovely in every respect.
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Salon
Salon, Champagne, France
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Situated in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger in the Côte des Blancs, the House of Salon produces only one Champagne, the Cuvée "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 Eugène-Aimé Salon early in the 20th century. There have been no changes to the methods and principles of making Champagne Salon that he laid down over a century ago, and that is certainly a testament to Salon's judgment and discrimination.

Champagne

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Associated with luxury, celebration, and romance, Champagne is home to the world’s most prized sparkling wine. In order to be labeled ‘Champagne’ within the EU and many New World countries, a wine must originate in this northeastern region of France and adhere to strict quality standards. Made up of the three towns Reims, Épernay, and Aÿ, it was here that the traditional method of sparkling wine production was both invented and perfected, birthing a winemaking technique as well as a flavor profile that is now emulated worldwide. Well-drained limestone chalk soil defines much of the region, lending a mineral component to the wines. The climate here is marginal—ample acidity is a requirement for sparkling wine, so overripe grapes are to be avoided. Weather differences from year to year create significant variation between vintages, and in order to maintain a consistent house style, non-vintage cuvées are produced annually from a blend of several years.

With nearly negligible exceptions, three varieties are permitted for use in Champagne: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. These can be blended together or bottled varietally, depending on the final style of wine desired. Chardonnay, the only white variety, contributes freshness, delicacy, and elegance, as well as bright and lively acidity and notes of citrus, orchard fruit, and white flowers. Pinot Noir and its relative Pinot Meunier provide the backbone to many blends, adding structure, body, and supple red fruit flavors. Wines with a large proportion of Pinot Meunier will be ready to drink earlier, while Pinot Noir contributes to longevity. Whether it is white or rosé, most Champagne is made from a blend of red and white grapes—and uniquely, rosé is often produce by blending together red and white wine. A Champagne made exclusively from Chardonnay will be labeled as ‘blanc de blancs,’ while one comprised of only red grapes are called ‘blanc de noirs.’

Champagne & Sparkling

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Equal parts festive and food-friendly, sparkling wine is beloved for its lively bubbles and appealing aesthetics. Though it is often thought of as something to be reserved for celebrations, sparkling wine can be enjoyed on any occasion—and might just make the regular ones feel a bit more special. Sparkling wine is made throughout the world, but can only be called “Champagne” if it comes from the Champagne region of France. Other regions have their own specialties, like Prosecco in Italy and Cava in Spain. Sweet or dry, white or rosé (or even red!), lightly fizzy or fully sparkling, there is a style of bubbly wine to suit every palate.

The bubbles in sparkling wine are formed when the base wine undergoes a secondary fermentation, trapping carbon dioxide inside the bottle or fermentation vessel. Champagne, Cava and many other sparkling wines (particularly in the New World) are made using the “traditional method,” in which the second fermentation takes place inside the bottle. With this method, dead yeast cells remain in contact with the wine during bottle aging, giving it a creamy mouthful and toasty flavors. For Prosecco, the carbonation process occurs in a stainless steel tank to preserve the fresh fruity and floral aromas preferred for this style of wine.

CAR938871_06_2006 Item# 260082