x
  • Country ranking ?

    2 414
  • Producer ranking ?

    27
  • Decanting time

    20min
  • When to drink

    now to 2035
  • Food Pairing

    Seafood, Salads & Consommes

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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The Story

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.

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Wine Information

1997 / Throughout winter and spring the climate alternated between mild weather and extreme cold. On June 11th, flowering began in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger.Summer was hot and dry, making for excellent ripening conditions. The harvest commenced on September 22nd; during picking the weather was summery but with cold evening temperatures, which encouraged good acidity.

Salon 1997: A sensuality of silk.
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 and hawthorn. 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 epitomy of balance and restraint. Exuberant on attack the mousse becomes more of a caress whilst bubbles dance playfully on the palate; its delicate allure emulating the sensuous grace of a silk veil at dawn.
Mastery character, elegance and bright vitality – Complex indeed.


Salon 1997: It is difficult to encapsulate where so many complementary and contradictory elements come together in such harmony. The finesse of silk, persistence, innate depth and power are allied to a lightness of touch – feminine and seductive, voluptuousness without bounds.

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Average Bottle Price

2015 2013 2010
283€ +9.3% 259€ +6.6% 243€

This data comes from the FINE Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions in 20 countries. The average prices from each year have been collected since 1990. This chart plots the index value of the average price of the wines.

Latest Pro-tasting notes

17 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Light, Green-Yellow and Bright

ending

Medium, Round and Lingering

nose

Youthful, Refined, Pure and Ripe

recommend

Yes

taste

Low in Acidity, Medium tannin, Perfectly balanced, Well-structured, Developing, Medium-bodied, Elegant, Harmonious, Rich and Dry

Verdict

Excellent

Written Notes

A very recent magnum. A wine of such extraordinary quality that even the
most fizzophobe amongst us could not fail to be converted. Structure,
richness, power, and yet a champagne that dances. Ethereal, elegant,
delicate, and lingering. 

In magnum, this still has a decade or two ahead of it. Fresh and full of
both complexity and finesse. White flowers, peaches, glacé lemon, cinnamon,
walnuts, and hazelnuts. Creamy texture, impeccable balance. Wonderful. 

Nineteen ninety-seven was not widely declared but there were some fine
champagnes, none better than this. In magnum, I looked hard for a reason not
to give it 100. I could not find one. It is drinking above the reputation of
the vintage. 100. 

Checking notes, I was surprised at how many times I had seen this vintage
of Salon. There were occasions from bottles when, as glorious as it was, it
was showing more maturity than some, with more mushroom and truffle notes.
Scores ranged, but none lower than 96. Unless you have it in magnum, this is
a vintage you can very much enjoy now. 

  • 100p
1997 Salon 89 points (93) One of the best champagnes from 1997. The wine is fantastically caressing and silky, with a spring-like seductive grace. The sublime scent breathes linden, lime and a hint of brioche. The taste is lighter and more directly accessible than usual, yet incredibly refined and crystal clear.
  • 93p

A very pale yellow with barely green hints and a lively nose but still discreet, 1999 Salon, with its clear immediate taste, has that juvenile grace that captures the palate, itself straight, firm and textured. A quite natural sophistication that is a gift and persists just like the creamy bubbles.

Brioche, white bread, white blossom, white fruit and bitter almond flavours are still developing. The middle palate and aftertaste are crystalline and it has a lingering finish with hints of citrus.

Ten years is all it has taken the 1999 Salon to reach dazzling maturity. Decades will follow.

Delicacies to accompany 1999 Salon:

Exquisite, delicate, gracious and subtle dishes. Warm oysters and Aquitaine caviar, a lightly cooked sea bass with a truffle risotto or calf’s sweetbreads with morel mushrooms. An excellent Parma or Iberico ham, the centre of a Parmesan cheese, aged for thirty-six months. Or simply by itself, with grilled almonds.

Salon 1997 / 96 points / The Icon Champagne has a deep intensity  with heavy spice tones, delicious citrus fruits, juicy green apples, salt, well-baked bread buns and nuts. This is fantastic aromas!
 
The Champagne is rich, wraps around with a delicious mousse with large ripe citrus fruits, sour green apples and the wonderful sit-by-sea-and-enjoy-life feeling. Slightly soiled and light brioche feeling on the long and dry finish. The acid is clear, but is well received by the concentrated fruit. The champagne is very nice today, but needs a lot of time to harmonize even more. Where is this glory in 10 years? I'm guessing high up there. 96 points. For now. (98+)

  • 96p
Pale lemon yellow, tiny bubbles. Apples, nuanced, minerals, delicate and nuanced nose. Fresh acidity, lively, elegant mousse, intense even if a bit sharp and lean, veryr efreshing, ads some body with air, delicately balanced, long. 94 ****
  • 94p
Salon 1997 / Bright, green yellow colour with energetic bubbles. Pronounced complex nose with intense ripe kiwi fruit aromas, hints of toffee and almonds. Dry and crisp on the palate with rich mousse, a lovely mineral character and balanced ripe fruitiness. Long lingering finish with refined and persistent, elegant style. Drinks surprisingly well already, but will also definitely improve in next 10 to 15 years. 95 points
  • 95p
TASTINGNOTE En av de allra främsta 97:orna. Vinet är fantastiskt smeksamt och silkesartat med en vårlik förförande grace. Den sublima doften andas lindblom, lime och antydan till brioche. Smaken är lättare och mer direkt lättillgänglig än vanligt, men samtidigt oerhört raffinerad och kristallklar.
  • 93p
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Information

Origin

Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Champagne

Vintage Quality

Average

Value For Money

Satisfactory

Investment potential

Below Average

Fake factory

None

Inside Information

eRobertParker.com #1113
Nov 2013
David Schildknecht 95 Drink: N/A $319-$480 (330)
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.

Salon – totaling 40,000 to 60,000 bottles in years when it is produced (that’s expressed as 750 ml. each; though magnums are becoming a significant and increasing share) – is still informed to a significant extent by its two founding blocks of massale selection vines in the heart of Le Mesnil and adjacent to the nowadays shared Salon-Delamotte facility. But there are some 20 total parcels – totaling 30 acres – under contract expressly for Salon, most of which are farmed in-house, and each of which is vinified separately. Of course, “expressly” has to be qualified. Salon has been made in fewer than 40 vintages (the exact number is disputed) since its commercial inauguration in 1921, and nowadays the fruit from its vineyards goes into bottlings of Delamotte in years when – after due consideration leading up to (potential) assemblage – no Salon is “declared.” “C’est pas de Rocket Science, pas de secrets,” remarks director Didier Depond – whose cellarmaster here, responsible also for Delamotte (and indeed, Laurent Perrier) is Michel Fauconnet – implying that it’s normally evident at harvest whether a given vintage will merit showcasing. Salon, which never undergoes malo-lactic transformation, is that rare thing among Champagnes: one designed expressly for aging, whether in the bottle or as part of the selective late disgorgements undertaken for specific clients from their sur point reserves. (Though one need only have a substantial income or an intense desire in order to acquire the “normal” disgorgements, the latter-sort are no doubt beyond the means or influence of all but a very few wine lovers. I was lucky enough to visit on a June day when a bottle of 1988 was being disgorged for a client, and the small amount of wine evacuated into my glass so as to be replaced by dosage – a non-dose Salon, bear in mind, that doesn’t otherwise exist –demonstrated formidable depth of mineral-like and secondary nuances as well as stamina, grip, and mouthwatering salinity.)
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