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  • Country ranking ?

    789
  • Producer ranking ?

    24
  • Decanting time

    15min
  • When to drink

    now to 2040
  • Food Pairing

    Smoked Salmon Mousse in a Phyllo Cup

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 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 Salon 1999 Brut Le Mesnil – disgorged already in 2011 and dosed with a pretty typical six grams of residual sugar – displays faintly fusil and quarry dust notes as well as hickory nut, almond, walnut and toasted wheat piquancy on the nose. Polished and subtly creamy in texture yet brightly juicy with apple and lemon, this displays an uncanny sense of lift and refinement, perfectly complementing the honeysuckle and heliotrope perfume that waft inner-mouth. You could lose yourself in the ineffability of this wine’s floral diversity and in its resonantly nut and grain low tones. Hints of apple pip lend subtle additional piquancy on a long and at once soothing as well as stimulating finish, with suggestions of oyster liquor becoming prominent as the bottle stands open for a few minutes, and serving to milk the salivary glands for all that they are worth. Follow this for at least a decade.

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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

Salon 1999 Champagne Natural sophistication 37th and last vintage of the 20th century, Salon 1999 Champagne has stirring perfection, the future power of an adolescent. Devilish beauty

37 vintages, all different, all sublime, all unique, like this exceptional Salon Champagne, for which the word “one” is of prime importance: originally the champagne of one man, Aimé Salon, cultivated on one stretch of land, the Côte des Blancs, from one vineyard, Mesnil-sur-Oger, from one type of grape, Chardonnay and one year.

1999 is the thirty-seventh and last vintage of the 20th century: a wild nature, to be tamed, with power and expectancy, looking to a glorious future, still imminent. It has the crazy charm of adolescence, this devilish beauty that is being transformed into magnificence.

The vintage 1999 :
The most abundant grape harvest in the history of Champagne! One of the warmest years of the century! But, on the heels of a fairly mild winter and a warm early spring came a series of hailstorms. The weather settled and the Chardonnay grape flowers bloomed on 11 June – magnificent. Rain in early July and a surprise month of August: a cold spell and an eclipse of the moon on the 11th. The harvest promised to be splendid, started well but ended with rain. Production, which was already significant, increased further. However, some winegrowers were able to reduce the weight of the vines at the right time: as a result, the wines gained in alcohol content (an average of 10%) with a low level of acidity of 6.3% due to the heat of the summer and rain during picking. Powerful, profound, lively and complex wines.

Terroir :
Soil and vintage: adolescent turmoil
What is this conflict, this duel creating confusion in 1999 Salon? Will soil or the vintage reign victorious over the other?
On one hand, the chalky “minerality” and vivacity specific to the soil of Mesnil-sur-Oger. On the other, the depth and sensual roundness that reflect the character of the vintage, without the over-ripeness sometimes found. It is from the tension between these forces that the 1999 Salon takes its personality – this delicate balance between proud adolescence, created from the potential of decades, given by its immense “minerality”, and its youthful ardour, extensive but under control. Fine character and devilish charm.

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Vintage 1999

A difficult start to the year led to early budbreak. There were some damaging hailstorms in early May, but the frost ultimately stayed away. The summer was overall warm and thanks to the hot and dry August, the grapes looked promising for the harvest. However, a damp September challenged producers and dilution was an issue for some. The 1999 harvest that started on September 15th produced a large yield (12,989 kg/ha) of sweet grapes that resulted in soft wines, low in acidity, which produced Champagnes that, in many cases, miss linearity and structure. Voluptuous and enjoyable with ripe, fruity, even exotic characters but in most cases for the medium-term only, even if the best seem to be maturing better than initially expected. The red wines of the year were exceptional and resulted in some outstanding prestige cuvée rosés, such as Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé, Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Rosé and Bollinger La Grande Année Rosé.

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Average Bottle Price

2015 2012
251€ +3.3% 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

20 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Light, Green-Yellow and Pale

ending

Long, Extensive, Lingering and Sharp

flavors

Toasty and Honey

nose

Youthful, Pure, Fresh and Refined

recommend

Yes

taste

High in Acidity, Low alcohol content, Medium tannin, Concentrated, Multi-dimensional, Balanced, Youthful, Medium-bodied, Fresh, Harmonious, Vigor, Dry and Silky tannins

Verdict

Impressive and Full-bodied

Written Notes

1999 Salon 88 points (94) Early days and impossible to really know where this wine is going, but a qualified guess is that far too many will taste their bottles way too early and defend it by saying that the wine is relatively inviting and available for a Salon. You will already find the tangerine and pineapple notes. The minerality is stunningly rocky and the butteriness has just begun to wrap around the chalk. The nuttiness and the depth requires patience if you're going to experience these wines, you better believe me because it will show some beautiful day in the future.
  • 94p

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.

Moderately light, green tints. Fresh, pure, complex – elegantly yeasty, juicy green apples, white flowers. Dry, crispy, energetic, explosively fresh, concentrated, delicately fruity, and lemony palate. Lingering long, fresh and delicious finish. Surprisingly flashy style for Salon! – JL 93p (4/2011)

  • 93p
Tidigt och omöjligt att riktigt veta vart vinet tar vägen. Men den kvalificerade gissningen är att alldeles för många kommer att knapra i sig pavorna på tok för tidigt och försvara det med att vinet är relativt flirtigt och tillgängligt för att vara en Salon. Här finns ju mandarin och ananas redan. Mineraliteten är bedövande stenig och smörigheten har bara börjat linda in kritan. Nötigheten och djupet kräver tålamod om man ska få uppleva, För tro mig det kommer att komma en vacker dag i framtiden.
  • 94p
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Information

Origin

Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Champagne

Vintage Quality

Above Average

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

Below Average

Fake factory

None

Glass time

1h

Drinking temperature

8

Inside Information

eRobertParker.com #1113
Nov 2013
David Schildknecht 95 Drink: 2013 - 2023 $270-$550 (330)
The Salon 1999 Brut Le Mesnil – disgorged already in 2011 and dosed with a pretty typical six grams of residual sugar – displays faintly fusil and quarry dust notes as well as hickory nut, almond, walnut and toasted wheat piquancy on the nose. Polished and subtly creamy in texture yet brightly juicy with apple and lemon, this displays an uncanny sense of lift and refinement, perfectly complementing the honeysuckle and heliotrope perfume that waft inner-mouth. You could lose yourself in the ineffability of this wine’s floral diversity and in its resonantly nut and grain low tones. Hints of apple pip lend subtle additional piquancy on a long and at once soothing as well as stimulating finish, with suggestions of oyster liquor becoming prominent as the bottle stands open for a few minutes, and serving to milk the salivary glands for all that they are worth. Follow this for at least a decade. 

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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