Salon Cuvée S Blanc de Blancs Brut

Everything about Salon is geared toward long-ageing potential: Only the first pressing is used, fermented cold in stainless steel tanks, and malolactic fermentation is completely blocked. The most definitive and legendary expression of champagne’s most confident, most commanding and arguably most age-worthy Côte des Blancs grand cru, Salon 2002 has been long anticipated. I first encountered it in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger in June, on release one of the most tightly coiled Salons, and already in August in Australia it’s beginning to open and blossom. There is a ripeness to 2002 that builds impressive generosity, unwinding to reveal ginger, grapefruit, white cherries, even anise, fig and tangello. Yet at every moment pure and focused, elegant and impeccably honed, with backward restraint of subtle grilled toast reduction and layers of fine, subtle, salty minerality. This is a vintage of effortless balance and enduring longevity. Just 60,000 bottles will be released over three years. $450 at WineAway (1999). 2002 coming soon.

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