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Pungent, vivid aromas of pineapple, lime, rose petal, honeysuckle and powdered stone. Wonderfully dense and rich but fine-grained, with an almost velvety texture leavened by vibrant, harmonious acidity. A big, pliant, mouthcoating Salon with great ripeness of fruit and subtle floral and mineral notes. Amazingly solid Champagne that really coats the mouth on the explosive, building finish. Offers a rare combination of size and elegance. Deceptively easy to taste today owing to its richness but has the structure to develop in bottle for a decade or two.
This Champagne is produced from a one-hectare parcel owned by Salon: "Salon’s garden", and from 19 other smaller parcels in Mesnil-sur-Oger, chosen by Aimé Salon at the beginning of the century. The wines are cellared in the bottle for an average of 10 years, gaining in complexity and finesse.
The proof that memory and history are important is shown by the bottles in the cellars from nearly all the vintages that have ever been produced at Salon. Headed by Aimé 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.
Made from 100% Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs grand cru vineyard, Le Mesnil-sur- Oger. The densely planted vines are located on the mid-slope in chalky soil, and the Cordon de Royat method of trellising is used, which allows access to the soil at the base of the vines.
The grapes are picked and sorted by hand. Only the first pressing, or cuvée, is used. This is the lightest, freshest juice, containing the highest percentage of acidity, which is essential to the evolution and vivacity of the Champagne. The first fermentation takes place in a stainless steel tank. The wine receives no oak exposure and does not undergo malolactic fermentation.
The wine is cellared in the bottle for an average of 10 years, gaining in complexity and finesse. Riddling is done by hand. All bottles are disgorged within 8 months of the first disgorgement, also by hand.
Vintage 1995 / In the wake of a mild but very rainy winter, the first two weeks in April were hot. April featured marked thermal contrasts, with May and June similar. Generous summer conditions settled in. Flowering was rapid. Harvesting ran between 18th September and 3rd October. The Chardonnays produced a rather powerful wine with sufficient vivacity, where citrus, white and exotic fruit aromas predominated.
A welcome relief after some difficult years in the region. Quantity-wise, it was the seventh high-cropping year in a row. But, in 1995, the quality also excelled, and particularly so for Chardonnay. There were significant frost damages during the spring and the warm but wet weather in the summer ignited mildew and rot problems. The vines cropped heavily and rigorous vineyard work and selection during harvest led to best results. Harvest commenced on September 18th and yielded grapes of a fine balance of sugar and acidity. The vintage has turned out to be much better than first expected and it has emerged from the shadow of the much-hyped 1996. This vintage is marked by elegance of its inviting fruitiness, beautiful balance and slow-building finesse. Its greatest examples include Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires, Dom Pérignon (whole range), Louis Roederer Cristal and Cristal Rosé, Bollinger R.D, Krug Vintage and Taittinger Comtes de Champagne.