• Country ranking ?

  • Producer ranking ?

  • Decanting time

    30 min
  • When to drink

    from 2018
  • Food Pairing

    Carmody Cheese with Quince Preserves

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The fact is, Champagne Salon is unique, born from a unique concept : a single grape variety, chardonnay ; a single terroir, the Côte des Blancs, a single cru village, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, a single year, its vintage.. just as Aimé Salon had imagined it in the early 1900s. The creative genius behind this exalted champagne, he forged from his idea a masterpiece of balance and dazzing elegance, exploding like fireworks in a riot of gold, the faintest shimmer of green here and there, brilliant and yet so subtle: Champagne Salon. In the 2002 vintage we finally have its true icon.


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.


Wine Information

What a year 2002 turned out to be ! In Champagne, particularly in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, weather conditions were notably unsettled, swinging between cool and warm, rain and dry : but no harsh frosts, no devastating downpours, and almost no hail. As a result the vines could not have been healthier. Pollen measurements at flowering indicated an abundant harvest – possibly too abundant – with bunches gaining weight fast. Would quality be up to scratch? While cautious growers thinned the crop, the issue resolved itself naturally as summer progressed, beautiful warm days concentrating the fruit and restoring perfect balance. The harvest began in mid-September, the 16th in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, in a cool snap with bright blue skies. The chardonnay grapes, harvested at just the right yields, turned out to be rich and powerful, every grape a reflection of its conditions. Add to this the human element – supreme effort, artistry, love – and the result is a wine of refinement, precision, balance; glinting, captivating like a samurai sword. For the image of battle could not be more apposite given the audacity and power, serene tension and selfassurance present in this 2002 vintage, here for us now to savour. Not just the soul of Salon, but its triumph.


Vintage 2002

A cold winter and a mild late spring cued for a perfect June allowing early and fast flowering. Outstanding weather conditions prevailed and the season went on without dramatic turns. Rains in August raised concerns regarding gray rot, but finally sunshine and dry conditions throughout September resulted in an abundant crop of largely healthy fruit (11,930 kg/ha). Dehydration due to wind further aided in achieving perfect ripeness and additional concentration. This, and the cool nights, helped in retaining fresh acidity and, despite the ripeness (10.3% potential alcohol), the wines did not suffer from heaviness or a lack of life. A near-perfect vintage, which produced balanced Champagnes consistently around the region. The best show an impeccable combination of freshness, power, structure and finesse. However, some have matured aromatically quicker than expected and are already past their peak. 2002 produced an abundance of spectacular champagnes, such as Dom Pérignon (the entire range), Krug Vintage and Clos du Mesnil, Piper-Heidsieck Rare, Louis Roederer Cristal and Cristal Rosé, Ruinart Dom Ruinart and Dom Ruinart Rosé, Salon Le Mesnil and Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, to name a few.


Average Bottle Price


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

35 tasting notes

Tasting note


Green-Yellow and Bright




Apricot, White fruits, Pepper, Voluptuous and Mineral


Youthful, Complex, Fresh and Charming




High in Acidity, Well-structured, Full-bodied, Full, Powerful and Dry


Well made and Impressive

Written Notes

A wine that already has legendary status; in time, the debate between this,
2008, and 1996 will be fun. It offers a slight baked lemon cheesecake note
but is tight, fresh, and with piercing length. Seamless and perfectly
balanced. Peaches, ginger, and lemon. Building in richness and will continue
to do so. That glorious creamy texture is already in evidence. 

Expect honeyed notes in the not-too-distant future. Even a hint of sea
breeze and oyster shell. This has decades ahead and a perfect score will
surely be achieved in time. A wine of utter precision. For now, it was so,
so young that I could only give it a miserly 98. 

Keep your hands off this wine for as long as you possibly can (unless it is
someone else’s bottle, then it is open slather). Depond has described this
as his Audrey Hepburn wine. This is not just one of the finest champagnes
from the great 2002 vintage, it is one of the best wines of this century to

  • 98p

Bottle. Disgorged 2014. Dosage 5.5 g/l. Original release was in 2012. Still commercially available in small quantities.
Intense and decongestant effect. Then so rich and nuanced on the palate. There’s a delicacy here too! Starting tertiary notes underneath, with some hay and then real grip on the end. Very long with a fascinating narrative. So many layers of delicacy!

  • 98p

Disgorged spring 2015 with 5-6 g/l dosage.
A touch smoky at first, almost white peppery. Creamy brioche on the palate, superb balance between depth, complexity and vitality. Tense and incredibly persistent. This really is delicious now but Didier Depond, president of Champagne Salon, suggests Salon just starts to get into its stride after 20 years and Corney & Barrow suggest now to 2060+

  • 97p

At first tasting in January 2014, and only recently disgorged after years on the lees, Salon 2002 seemed the very essence of Salon, displaying the wine’s familiar contrasts of tone, temperature and tension. Its aromas span the spectrum from delicate white spring flowers to sensual jasmine and exotic hot ginger.

These evocative flavours seem to warm and brighten on the palate: saturated with creamy orange flowers, candied citrus, fresh brioche, and laced with a tonic saline minerality, the mouth is a sensational riot. But it is perhaps in texture and weight, that this Salon proves most captivating and enigmatic: gossamer-fine, the wine’s tiny bubbles seem to skim weightlessly across the palate, that has no apparent edge or end. Simultaneously deep, rich and ethereal, Salon 2002 walks the high wire of power with customary poise.

Salon is an exceptional Champagne, arguably the rarest of all. Located in the celebrated grand cru village of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger in the Côte des Blancs, Salon is made in tiny quantities (5,000 cases per vintage) and only when conditions are absolutely right, a rare occurrence given Champagne’s marginal climate.


2002 is the thirty-eighth and first vintage of the 21st century. 38 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, Mesnilsur-Oger, from one type of grape, Chardonnay and one year.

Light yellow.  Spicy lemon and lime aromas are complicated by ginger and talc, with a suave floral quality gaining strength in the glass.  Fresh and energetic, offering racy pure citrus and pear flavors that are strikingly pure and mineral-drive.

  • 96p

In 2014 Had a pleasure to host the launching program of 2002 vintage in Maldives,

The wine is very young with perfect noted of fresh fruits and sharp edges of bubbles, it has great potential to age for a decade,

  • 95p

A great Blanc de Blancs with a bright yellow colour and very pleasant mousseux. The nose is excellent with an aroma reminiscent of elder blossoms, lemon zest, ripe pear and hints of apricots, brioche and discreet hints of vanilla. On the palate wonderful freshness, creamy texture, excellent mousseux with great finesse. In the long lingering aftertaste hints of lemon peel, discreet citrus fruit, yellow stone fruit and fine minerality. A great wine with excellent length and impressing character. 97/100

  • 97p
Pale lemon, tiny bubbles. Detailed, elegant, nuanced, refined, layered, subdued, fragrant, some brioche, floral notes, fruity, citrus, minerals, plaster, you name it. Fresh acidity, gorgeous mousse, elegant, nuanced, detailed, fresh, lively, light brioche note, superb balance, refined as very few. Very long.- 98p
  • 98p
Det är ingen helmlighet att jag är grinig på champagnerna från Salon. Ja, det var innan Johan Tidelius-provningen på Operaköllaren 2012. Vinerna är antingen omogna som gröna krusbär (de första 25-30 åren) eller övermogna som ett mjölkigt ostron i juli … men här är den! Den perfekta unga Champagnen från Salon! Exemplarisk balans mellan årgångens rikedom & Le Mesnils elegans & subtiliteter. Den bästa unga Salon jag druckit? Utan tvekan den bästa sedan ’83:an var i samma ålder i alla fall.
  • 97p
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Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Champagne

Vintage Quality

Above Average

Value For Money


Investment potential

Below Average

Fake factory


Glass time


Inside Information

Far too few have had the opportunity to be able to taste Salon in full bloom. Many argue, with some justification, that they are either steely, undeveloped acid parcels or oxidative, fallen fruit bombs. It is certainly true that Salon will need many years to develop full maturity and that they are made in an old-fashioned, malic acid, patience-testing style; however, to say that also sometimes mature too quickly and become over-matured is a misunderstanding. What happens is that the wines in the ‘interphase’ take on notes reminiscent of oxidation due to the ripening of the grapes at harvest, before the rich buttery nutty style is fully developed. The flavour spectrum, shades of straw, overripe apples and figs, is allowed a great deal of leeway. This is a strange but very obvious phenomenon when you have time to follow a vintage of Salon through its life journey.


My oldest Salon comes from the rare and mediocre vintage of 1932, and it turned out to be both really wonderful and youthful. Wines from the forties and fifties are probably the best and 1928 Salon is at the top of my wish list of champagnes I have not yet tasted. We had several healthy sceptics within the test group, but everyone agreed about the need for mature experiences in order to be fully able to understand the very young specimens, and that time transforms these narrow and hard youngsters into complex mature beauties.

Richard Juhlin

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