Salon Champagne

by Wine Owners

Posted on 2013-12-20

First commercially produced in 1921, and made in only 37 vintages since then, Salon is the archetypal ‘boutique’ champagne. The original 1 ha single vineyard plot is now supplemented by carefully selected grapes from other growers in Le Mesnil, taking the production up to around 500 cases per vintage. With supply low, and little available on the secondary market as a consequence, it’s best for collectors who want this wine to pick it up on or close to release, before prices start their inevitable rise.

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The Salon 1999 Brut Le Mesnil – disgorged already in 2011 and dosed with a pretty typical six grams of residual sugar – displays faintly fusil and quarry dust notes as well as hickory nut, almond, walnut and toasted wheat piquancy on the nose. Polished and subtly creamy in texture yet brightly juicy with apple and lemon, this displays an uncanny sense of lift and refinement, perfectly complementing the honeysuckle and heliotrope perfume that waft inner-mouth. You could lose yourself in the ineffability of this wine’s floral diversity and in its resonantly nut and grain low tones. Hints of apple pip lend subtle additional piquancy on a long and at once soothing as well as stimulating finish, with suggestions of oyster liquor becoming prominent as the bottle stands open for a few minutes, and serving to milk the salivary glands for all that they are worth. Follow this for at least a decade.” 95 points, David Schildknecht, Wine Advocate

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1999 Salon is the latest release, with a market value of £1,942, which compares reasonably favourably with a market level of £3,042 for the 1996 vintage. Recent trades on the Wine Owners Exchange, which may also be useful for price discovery purposes, show a selling level of £2550.

The 1997 remains reasonable value where available, with a market level of £1,989 based on a European low. That said, the lowest current UK price for the 1997 is £2,040 and the best price for complete cases is around £2,200.
Prices for back vintages quickly become prohibitive: the 1995 sits at a market level of £3416 while the 1990 is being sold for £4,867, making it seem relative good sense to mop up the remaining 1997s and 1999s while the hunting is still good.

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