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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Salon Blanc de Blancs Le Mesnil (in Gift Box) 1990

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
  • RP96
0% ABV
  • V97
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  • WS95
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  • WE98
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  • W&S96
  • WW96
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  • CG97
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  • WE96
  • RP95
  • BH95
  • WS91
  • CG97
  • WE97
  • W&S96
  • WS95
  • RP95
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  • WS96
  • WE92
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Winemaker Notes

The House of Salon makes no other wine, only this rare vintage tête de cuvée blanc de blancs, with grapes hand-selected from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger Grand Cru vineyard in the Côte des Blancs. Since 1911, vintages have been declared no more than four times a decade. Aged en tirage for eight to ten years and hand-disgorged when a specific order is received, Salon is long and creamy in flavor, slowly revealing its wondrous and unique splendors. Salon's 1985, 1988, and 1990 vintages are among the most highly praised consecutive releases from a single Champagne house.

The 1990 vintage is only the 33rd vintage produced since the creation of the House of Salon in 1911. It is certainly one of the greatest vintages ever produced. The year began inauspiciously in the Côte des Blancs, with an early bud-break severely damaged by two frosts in April; forty-five percent of the vineyards were hit. June was wet and cold, resulting in further losses from coulure and millerandage. A miserable beginning, but as if to compensate, the remainder of the summer was glorious. Exceptional ripening conditions prevailed for the growing season, without cessation even through harvest. The harvest began on September 14th in Le Mesnil, with Chardonnay of unusual homogeneity and high acidity, promising greatness.

Salon 1990 tasting notes: The color is deep gold, with a fine and delicate mousse. An aromatic explosion of lemon, lime, and spices amidst very floral notes greets the nose and gives a freshness to the bouquet. The taste is structured, with an ever-present but not aggressive acidity, which will allow it to age far over twenty years. This wine melds seemingly impossible contradictions – ample yet delicate, creamy acidity, dense yet elegant.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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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.

LPASALON_1990 Item# 48863