Champagne Salon, 2006 Cuvee S
Salon is an icon; a combination of outstanding quality and almost unobtainable rarity. Richard Juhlin has described Salon’s Champagne as: “unmatched in terms of class and purity.” He goes on to say: “Salon is the most sought-after Champagne among connoisseurs. This magnificent wine is so rare that only a few people have had the chance to taste the quintessence of Le Mesnil.” Salon is always defined by the singular: a single grape, Chardonnay; a single village, Le Mesnil in the Cotes de Blancs; and a single year, for it is always the product of one exceptional vintage.
And yet each vintage is different from any other. The vagaries of climate, something in the air, that tiny something that can change everything: this is where Salon’s personality is forged. Following eleven years aging in the cool silence of the estate cellars, Salon 2006 surges forth unbridled, with the promise of years ahead. Notes of white flowers, citrus zest, lightly toasted brioche. Then the glass fills magically with autumnal tones, fresh hazelnuts, praline, dried apricot, ripe yellow fruits. To know restraint but be generous, to combine lightness with solidity. This sense of duality is confirmed in the impeccable palate structure. Simultaneously rich and incisive, with the fine linear acidity to permit cellaring for 30 years, Salon 2006 has a long future ahead.
When a vintage is declared less than 50,000 bottles of Salon are produced. To put that in perspective: Krug’s production – which is considered small – is about 500,000 bottles per year. Salon’s production represents only 1% of that of Dom Perignon and 10% of that of Louis Roederer Cristal. The rarity caused by such a tiny output is further exacerbated by Salon only declaring in the very finest vintages. In anything but an exceptional year, the grapes go into the Blanc de Blancs of sister house Delamotte. Salon 2006 is just the 39th vintage to have been produced since the house was established in 1905.