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Salon Blanc de Blancs Le Mesnil (in Gift Box) 1997

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
  • CG97
  • WE96
  • W&S96
  • RP95
  • BH95
  • WS91
12% ABV
  • V97
  • RP96
  • D95
  • WS95
  • WE98
  • JS98
  • W&S95
  • WS94
  • WE100
  • WW100
  • JS99
  • D98
  • WS97
  • W&S96
  • WW96
  • RP95
  • WS94
  • CG97
  • WE97
  • W&S96
  • WS95
  • RP95
  • WS94
  • RP96
  • WS96
  • WE92
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4.0 1 Ratings
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4.0 1 Ratings
12% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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 andhawthorn. 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 onentry, 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—itis difficult to encapsulate so many complementary and contradictory elements comingtogether in harmony.

Refined, feminine and seductive, voluptuous yet restrained, and superblybalanced, this vintage compares stylistically to the great 1988.

According to Didier Depond, Director of the House of Champagne Salon, this singularwine 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 therichness and complexity of its aromas and its exceptional, lingering finish, this style ofglass allows the wine to breathe more freely.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
CG 97
Connoisseurs' Guide
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.
WE 96
Wine Enthusiast
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.
W&S 96
Wine & Spirits
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.
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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.
BH 95
Burghound.com
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.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
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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Salon
Salon, Champagne, France
Image of winery
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.’

JIM95418_1997 Item# 95418