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  • Decanting time

  • When to drink

    now to 2040
  • Food Pairing

    scallops marinated in kombu

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The desire for perfection created in the infinite facets of a yellow diamond, the exquisite surprise of a tasting that takes your breath away: the pale gold of a wine held up to the light, the subtle glint of green heralding minerals, stone, chalk – so emblematic of Salon – together with wafts of fruit, dried roses in abundance, never-ending flavours that go on and on. Its freshness and slender form, its precise, aristocratic acidity promising decades of glorious ageing ahead, founded upon an impeccable structure. 
Allowed to breathe momentarily, Salon 2012 unleashes its seductive powers on the palate, with notes of pineapple, lychee, a touch of smoke; caressing with a knowing smile as beguiling and mysterious as the Mona Lisa, Salon does not reveal every secret. 
An alliance of glorious opponents: all is fair in love and war. The love for Salon 2012. For those in the know, the connoisseurs of today and tomorrow. Savour the flash of a smile, like a flame as it catches fire.


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

Initially mild-mannered, winter 2012 unleashed its full force in February, with freezing temperatures of minus 10, even minus 20C. Then March came in like a lamb. Tender buds were beginning to emerge, only for April to bring heavy rains with clear, and therefore glacial, nights. 
A cold snap during flowering did not help matters, without even so much as a ray of sunshine in the offing. The vines looked pitiful. And then more rain, right up until July. Too much rain. The vines did not take it kindly. 
August arrived at last, the hottest month in the calendar, but the first few days were rather too hot: a heatwave! The vines really had been through it all: too wet, then too dry, a paucity of grapes; what would the harvest bring? It began in Le Mesnil on 17th September. 
Mother Nature likes to play tricks. Over in the vats, a miracle was taking place, a grand vin was emerging, with the hint of a smile – ‘gotcha!’ The vintage had everything all along: sugars, fine acidity, magnificent potential… the only thing left to do now, was wait. And see the vignerons smile once more.


Vintage 2012

The next most exceptional vintage since 2008. A truly difficult growing season saw severe frosts in the winter. March brought warmth but early budbreak made the vines vulnerable to spring frosts. Overall, the early growing season was wet, and mildew became a serious issue. However, conditions improved dramatically in the later summer months. An August heatwave resulted in a rapid accumulation of sugar, but fortunately the nights remained cool, which helped to preserve acidity. Although yields were low (averaging at 9,210 kg/ha) due to frost, hail and disease early in the season, the 2012 harvest was exemplary in its maturity, acidity and grape health. A rare high acid, high sugar September harvest with impeccable concentration of flavour and refreshing vibrancy. Pinot Noir is the superstar of the vintage, though Pinot Meunier excelled too. A vintage that promises great longevity for the finest cuvées, it was widely declared by producers. However, Krug decided to invest in its reserve wines on this great year, and no Vintage was produced. The quality of 2012 is universally high, with the greatest releases so far including Louis Roederer Cristal and Cristal Rosé, Bollinger La Grande Année and La Grande Année Rosé, as well as Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Rosé.


Tasting note

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Written Notes

Tasted next to 2002 Krug Clos du Mesnil six months before it went on the market, the wine felt amazingly light, sublime and young. Funnily enough, my fellow tasters guessed at a young Grand Siècle, just as I have pointed out in recent vintages that the similarity in youth is striking as the vines grow up in the same premises. Here is a beautiful light note of strawberries and freshly washed sheets together with ultra-pure lemon zest and slender smooth delicate brushstrokes of the finest butter from Normandy. As it should be, the champagne grew grand in the glass and became increasingly poignant to be enjoyed in large, easy-drinking sips. As always, Salon has several gears that only storage can provide. Currently a really beautiful charmer. In ten years a serious player in the top league.

  • 94p

“A rollercoaster year in the vineyards with hopes for a quality crop only rising at harvest time. Salon initially wasn't promising a vintage, but changed its mind having come up with something instantly rewarding. Bright, sweetly fruity nose on the sweet green fruit side: lime, pear drops, licorice, jasmine and fragrant orange blossom tones. A flick of vanilla complements the whole. The palate has a silky flow of volume yet a firm backbone of brisk acidity enhancing the notion of explosive fruitiness. The chalky mineral bite comes forward on the long, intense and dry finish. This wine hasn’t moved a lot in the past year, promising longevity. Disgorged 3/21; dosage 5g/l”

  • 94p

“The 2012 Salon is absolutely gorgeous. It offers a beguiling mix of radiance and energy that seems to capture a little bit of elements of some of its older siblings. The expression of fruit is radiant and quite overt, but without reaching the tropical exuberance of the 2006. In shape, the 2012 recalls the mid-weight style of 2007 with the freshness of 2008, but not quite the youthful austerity of that wine. If that sounds like an appealing combination, well it is. The 2012 Salon is all harmony and class.”

  • 97p

Champagne Salon Blanc de Blancs 2012 is Chardonnay in its purest form, made in the reductive style – so no oak. This vintage bears all the hallmarks of a classic Salon; rich expressive fruit typical of the 2012 vintage and the unmistakeable chalky structure, the elegance belying much power beneath. Bottles are available from late January 2022 and magnums will follow later in the year.

  • 97p
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Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Champagne

Inside Information


Extreme purity marries well with crisp minerality. Look to the sea for myriad pairings: imagine a tartar of langoustines, scallops marinated in kombu, or Daurenki imperial caviar. 
Or how about a miso-glazed turbot, roasted then served with hollandaise sauce. Or consider the delicacies of the land, such as veal from the Corrèze with white asparagus and morels. There are just a few suggestions to inspire and delight while we dream of Salon 2012…

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