Salon Blanc de Blancs Le Mesnil 2007
Salon 2007 is immediately appealing with its pale shades -- cool blonde tones glistening with lemon and green. The bubbles are fine, the very essence of Salon 2007 in all its dynamic luminous energy. In the glass, aromas form a moving backdrop, fresh and bright as sunrise, with notes of lemon, lime, yuzu, then green apple, a hint of smoked tea and fresh herbs on wet stone. The palate is focused on backbone and purity; this is the terroir of Le Mesnil taking center stage, displaying its unique rigor and stony imprint. An electric sensation, sending shiver upon shiver down the spine. Salon 2007 will shine on, preserved in the darkness of its cellars, asking only to be brought into the light, a shimmering aurora borealis.
The seas and deep oceans are a veritable treasure trove of delights to match with radiant Salon 2007. The oyster, in all its forms – fresh, in a gratin, as a foam….Langoustines in tempura, a seabass tartare, ceviche, scallops. On the richer side, a 24-month aged Comte or a truffled brie would make a colorful grand finale to any fireworks featuring Salon 2007.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
While there aren’t a lot of brilliant wines from the 2007 vintage in Champagne, the unusual parameters that define Salon produced a wine that could well be considered a classic. It’s made only from chardonnay grown in Le Mesnil, and the vintage turned out a wine of clarity and purity. A grand and generous chardonnay, this opens from a tight place into broad hazelnut flavors and elusive smokiness, even as it maintains its focus and precision. Lasting and delicious to drink now, it will only benefit from several years of cellar time.
Salon is a unique Champagne. All the emphasis in the production of this exceptional wine is on the singular. It was originally the product of one single man, Aimé Salon; from one single region, the Côte de Blancs; from one single cru, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger; from one single grape variety, Chardonnay; and from one single vintage, with no blending whatsoever. Created in 1911 with its first vintage in 1905, Champagne Salon is the creation of Aimé Salon, a champagne connoisseur enchanted then seduced by the terroir of Le Mesnil. After World War I, he was encouraged by his numerous friends to profit more fully from his wine and the house of Salon was created to cater to his new clientele. Headed by Salon until his death in 1943, the house was then left to his nephew. In 1988, Champagne Laurent-Perrier, a family-owned company, became the majority shareholder of Champagne Salon. Today, the house of Salon, along with its ancient neighbor and sister, Champagne Delamotte (the 5th oldest Champagne house, founded in 1760) are directed by one man, Didier Depond.
Associated with luxury, celebration, and romance, the region, Champagne, is home to the world’s most prized sparkling wine. In order to bear the label, ‘Champagne’, a sparkling wine must originate from this northeastern region of France—called Champagne—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 and chalky soil defines much of the region, which lend a mineral component to its wines. Champagne’s cold, continental climate promotes ample acidity in its grapes but weather differences from year to year can create significant variation between vintages. While vintage Champagnes are produced in exceptional years, non-vintage cuvées are produced annually from a blend of several years in order to produce Champagnes that maintain a consistent house style.
With nearly negligible exceptions, . These can be blended together or bottled as individual varietal Champagnes, depending on the final style of wine desired. Chardonnay, the only white variety, contributes freshness, elegance, 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 ones comprised of only red grapes are called ‘blanc de noirs.’
Representing the topmost expression of a Champagne house, a vintage Champagne is one made from the produce of a single, superior harvest year. Vintage Champagnes account for a mere 5% of total Champagne production and are produced about three times in a decade. Champagne is typically made as a blend of multiple years in order to preserve the house style; these will have non-vintage, or simply, NV on the label. The term, "vintage," as it applies to all wine, simply means a single harvest year.