Created in 1911 with first vintage 1905, this Champagne is produced from a one-hectare parcel owned by Salon (“Salon’s garden”, a vineyard of deep limestone and chalk ) and from 19 other smaller parcels in Le-Mesnil-sur-Oger. The parcels were chosen at the turn of the century by Aimé Salon, who headed Salon until his death in 1943. The wines are cellared in the bottle sur-lie for an average of 10 years, gaining complexity and finesse. Because they do not go through malolactic fermentation, Salon has been described as “stern” while young. This is a wine that benefits from 30 to 40 years of rest, completely worth the wait.
“Salon is the most elusive of Champagne’s grand marques. Only made in what the house deems the very best years, Salon has been bottled just 38 times since 1905, its first vintage. Even when it is released, production is tiny. Consider that there are just 5,000 cases of the 2002 for the entire world, a virtually insignificant amount by Champagne standards […] Because production is so limited, older vintages of Salon are very hard to find. Salon is located in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, in the heart of the Côtes des Blancs. The core of Salon emerges from a small vineyard that sits right behind the house. Salon is done entirely in steel, with no malolactic fermentation, one of the reasons the wines need extended time in bottle prior to release, and in most cases, several years on the cork before they start drinking well. In vintages in which Salon is not made, the fruit goes into Delamotte, Salon’s sister estate and neighbour. The Delamotte style is less severe, as malolactic fermentation is employed to give the wines softer contours and more immediate breadth.”
– “Four Vintages of Champagne Salon and Delamotte”, Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media, May 2014