Haha – Who am I kidding; when i tasted the just released Salon 2004 it was more than OK, this Champagne was in a whole different league. And so it should be, it is considered one of the most revered and rarest of all Champagnes. Funny how a wine being so scarce makes you appreciate every nuance even more so!
If you’re new to the world of Salon – sit back and get ready for some liquid education as we reveal the seven things you need to know about the world’s most revered Champagne.
- It’s really rare – like seriously rare
How rare is this blanc de blanc? This is only the second time a vintage had been released this century. And when it is released, only 60,000 bottles are made. If you think that still sounds a lot, consider this. Krug releases 500,000 bottles each vintage, Salon’s production is 1% of Dom Perignon and a mere 10% Louis Roderer Crystal.
2. They hardly ever make it – for a good reason
Salon’s commitment to extreme quality is so revered, only 40 vintages have ever been declared and released since its first vintage in 1921. When a vintage isn’t declared, these Grand Cru grapes find themselves being used in Delamotte Champagne.
3. It was a pioneering world first
Also interesting to note, Salon was the first ever champagne house to release a commercial blanc de blanc wine, for newcomers to this term, that’s a Champagne made exclusively from Chardonnay grapes (ie white wine from white grapes).
4. It’s next door neighbour is Krug Clos du Mesnil
Of course the grapes come from a Grand Cru classified vineyard. Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, which is 13 kms south of Epernay is one the first vineyards in all of Champagne to sprout leaves, such is the warm mescoclimate. It’s also where Krug sources its most famous wine, Clos du Mesnil.
5. It’s made to age – and here’s the why and how
Salon always releases it’s wine with considerable age. At 12 years of age, the 2004 is still a baby. Fifteen years is recommended, longer is preferred. To assist with the aging the makers prevent these wines from undergoing malolactic fermentation. This is another fancy winemaking term that basically means the wine goes through a secondary fermentation that makes the base wine creamy and soft. So without this process the wine remains very crisp and acidic, which makes Salon a perfecf candidate for cellaring. The agung helps smooth out its edges!
6. But Drew, what does it taste like?
To try and sum this wine up with a verbal description would be a crime, and be very boring to read! Let’s just say it was beautifully balanced with amazing structure. If you can afford a bottle, let alone FIND a bottle, just sit back and enjoy it!
7. And finally – how many dollarydoos does it cost?
In Sweden (where I currently live), it costs 3449 kr at Systembolaget, the country’s wine monopoly. It’s a bargain!! Elsewhere – it’s price can vary greatly. According to wine searcher, its average global price in July 2016 was US$432.