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Salon Blanc De Blanc le Mesnil Champagne 2004 Vintage 75cl

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Salon Blanc De Blanc le Mesnil Champagne 2004 Vintage is only the 39th vintage ever released from this iconic and tiny champagne house – it bears all Salon’s hallmarks: the purity and precision, the poise and the perfume. It is also extremely rare: the 2004 growing season in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger led to an even smaller harvest than usual at Salon.

The 2004 vintage displays all the qualities expected of Salon : complexity, purity, freshness. But beyond this, there is a sense of serenity, promising many years of anticipation before the wine reaches its ineffable peak. Like a volcano, deceptively still, Champagne Salon 2004 gives a quiet taste of the future, while affirming its power even now. Its lively clean attack, intense freshness and minerality do not belie the wine’s aromatic promise : impressive for its notes of minerals, gunflint, stones, smoked tea leaves, the touch of mint ; redolent of the ocean with its iodine, seaweed tang. Taut and edgy in the mouth, the wine is all purity and fine acidity. Magnificent and saline, this great white wine, even now in its youth, gives a glimpse of chardonnay’s rich potential with its brioche, warm bread and fresh yeast characters. The wine becomes rounder as it airs in the glass, revealing a beautiful vinosity, the curve counter-balancing its acidity to perfection. And on the finish, the merest hint of bitterness, the signature of so many truly great wines.

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. Nestled in the heart of the Côte des Blancs, 100% Chardonnay and 100% grand cru, this is the king of Champagne vineyards. It is here that the most profound expression of Chardonnay's delicate freshness truly comes to the fore, where magnanimous nature offers a wine that is purity itself. 

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Pairs well with…

  • Duck
  • Fungi
  • Parmesan
  • Rice
  • Seafood
  • Shellfish
2004 Salon weaves together immense complexity with stunning purity and makes instant impact on the nose with fresh-baked pastry and brioche, chalky minerals, fresh white mushrooms, cucumber, lemon curd and striking lemon and lime fruits. The palate has an almost smoky mineral thread while toasty autolytic flavours build and expand through the mid-palate, opening to grapefruit and ripe white-peach flavors, lemon sorbet and very lightly grilled hazelnuts to close. This is an impressively layered Blanc de Blancs in which bright acidity supports the flavorsome, concentrated and fleshy texture in seamless balance. A great Salon that's very composed and complex in every respect; it's a classically styled vintage in which this legendary Champagne has excelled. It will be a fascinatingly complex Champagne with further age. Drink now and for 10+ years.

Score: 98 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com October 2016
Made from 100% Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs grand cru vineyard, Le Mesnil-surOger. 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.
It has a ready charge of scents, enticing as always: feminine and discreetly exotic, wafting jasmine as it goes, then a flash of flint struck hard, then the tang of the sea.
Taut and crystalline in the mouth, the wine is clean as a blade with a tonic, saline edge; its mousse creamy yet somehow simultaneously weightless, all-enveloping and almost implausibly fine. In the glass, with air and time, the wine shows a hint of its future potential: smooth, toned chardonnay curve, layering delicate pear fruit, soft brioche, fresh yeast. All purity and tension, grace and poise, this is a serene and classic Salon, more approachable now than many vintages, and with a lengthy future ahead.
Serve slightly chilled between 54° and 59°F.
Scallops, sweetbreads with a small piece of molten parmesan, light fish dishes simply served.
Oysters, lobster, pheasant, capon with light mushroom sauce and dark rice.
More Information
Brand Salon
Country France
Volume (cl) 75
ABV (% vol) 12
Style Blanc de Blancs
Champagne Village Le Mesnil-sur-Oger
Champagne Producer Type Grand Marque
Closure Cork and Cage
Champagne Grape Chardonnay
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