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1996 Salon Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs
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1996 Salon Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs - France, Champagne, Le Mesnil Sur Oger, Champagne (4/13/2007)
WIML95,NOWA,WS93

Tasted April 13, 2007 at an offline. Opened about 30-minutes to an hour without decanting before serving. Light yellow color in the glass, clear hue throughout. Nose of pears, whetstones, citrus fruits and eventually with more time opened a little brioche. Flavors of apples, lychee, peach and some steely minerality as well. Crisp and youthful acidity, medium to full bodied. Obviously a very young Champagne. I’d recommend holding myself. (95 pts.)


Joe
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Wine is like potato chips around me...if it's open, it's gone.

MyBlog @ www.wineismylife.net
 
Posts: 13439 | Location: Arlington, Texas | Registered: Aug 30, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Joe,

thanks for the great notes. (Not that I'm jealous of your stellar lineup or anything... Wink )

I'm fortunate enough to own two bottles of the 1996. I think we all agree on the recommendation to hold for quite a while, but would you (or, naturally, anyone else who was there, or has experience with the wine) venture to nail down a more specific window? With just two bottles stashed, I'm going to be pretty careful not to pop one too soon. Your notes on the 1982 are a hint, of course.


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Posts: 212 | Location: Stockholm, Sweden | Registered: Dec 18, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well it obviously depends on your preference in Chamapagne (young and vibrant or aged with more toasty/yeasty components) but based on recent tastings of the 1982 and the 1990 I'd say the earliest I'd ever open a Salon from a good vintage is somewhere in the neighborhood of 16+ years from vintage date. If I had two bottles of the 1996 I'd open the first one in the area of 2012-2014 and gauge from there when to open the second. It should be a long lived wine.


Joe
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Wine is like potato chips around me...if it's open, it's gone.

MyBlog @ www.wineismylife.net
 
Posts: 13439 | Location: Arlington, Texas | Registered: Aug 30, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks. You are a great help in calibrating what I have gathered from other sources. I mean, even though I tend to prefer the more mature toast notes, I do appreciate young and vibrant - but with Salon, I have learned that young means "steel spike through your tongue" rather than vibrant...


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http://nettareegioia.wordpress.com
...e in auree coppe versi, copiosamente, nettare e gioia [Sappho]
 
Posts: 212 | Location: Stockholm, Sweden | Registered: Dec 18, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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  • 1996 Salon Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs - France, Champagne, Le Mesnil Sur Oger, Champagne (4/13/2007)
    Philly Pre-Game Champagne and Bordeaux Dinner (Marigold Restaurant, Philadelphia, PA): Very tight on the nose. Aromas of maraschino cherry, apple, lemon, and biscuit. Medium-full bodied, again somewhat closed, but shows good texture and a ton of acidity. Apple and lemon on the palate. Moderate finish, ~30-40s, with white fruit and citrus. To no surprise, this opened up with a couple hours air as all Salon does (old or young), but this wine is clearly extremely young. Salon does not really hit its stride until 20 years of age, and I think this wine is a benchmark that has potential to go significantly longer than that. 93+ points for now, but I think it could outclass even the 1982 with time. (93 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker
 
Posts: 10793 | Location: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 17, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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  • 1996 Salon Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs - France, Champagne, Le Mesnil Sur Oger, Champagne (12/10/2007)
    This is my third taste of this wine, and while I do think it is outstanding and very refined, I am having some trouble getting excited about it. Faint aromas of lemon rind and yeast are followed an elegant palate of nectarines, green apples, graphite, and biscuit. Tangy lemon on the finish. Racy acidity. Clearly a youngster and destined to improve, but at this price I would take two 1996 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne over one of these in a heartbeat. (92 pts.)
 
Posts: 672 | Location: Orange County, CA | Registered: Jun 24, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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philin,

Do not rush Salon. This is a wine that will reward your patience.

The '90 is drinking very well now.
 
Posts: 29993 | Location: Dallas, TX & Santa Fe, NM | Registered: Feb 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've had this twice now, and while I think it's young and monstrous, it's not Salon in style, and while I'm sure it will improve, I don't know that this will go down in history as a "great" Salon. Rich golden in color. We decanted this for 10 mins. Notes of baked biscuit, creme fraische, loads of honeysuckle, baked apple pie, mineral, and a powerful dry and rewardingly acidic finish. This is more like a young Bollinger! I enjoy the '95 better for it's grace and elegance...ala Salon!. 94+? pts.


So much wine.....so little time!!!
 
Posts: 7015 | Location: San Francisco | Registered: Jun 20, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Better than the last time we had it. But thisis a monster that does not taste like 100% Chardonnay. Also, there is still more RS on this than I would like. Agreed that the acid seemed more apparent (good thing) than the last time we had this. I think the decanting helped. I don't see this ever being as good as the '95 (nor the '90 for that matter... or even, perhaps, the '97)


"What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?" -- W.C. Fields
 
Posts: 7497 | Registered: Dec 05, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Surprised to hear this. I haven't had the '97 (I won't pay $400/bottle when so many more attractive options are out there), but have probably been through a dozen '95s and a handful of '96s over the years. It's been a couple of years on the '96, but at the time it stood out as one of the best young Champagnes of any sort that I've ever had, and I thought it very Salon in style. In contrast, I've always thought the '95 to be a relatively weak, still tasty, but nearer-term Salon.

Sounds like a reason to open a '96.
 
Posts: 1489 | Location: Chicago, IL | Registered: Oct 30, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
I've had this twice now, and while I think it's young and monstrous, it's not Salon in style, and while I'm sure it will improve, I don't know that this will go down in history as a "great" Salon.


Hmm, can't say I agree on this one. If anything this may be a great Salon. The complexity blows past the 95. It is still young but deliriously good.

I want to drink this NOW! Cool

  • 1996 Salon Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs - France, Champagne, Le Mesnil Sur Oger, Champagne (6/25/2008)
    Very light gold in color; 96+ points; Much has been said about this wine so I can't add a lot but to say WOW. Citrus and slight pear aromas. Complex and focused with lemon fruit and a long, chalky, minerally finish. This wine was very young and acidic with numerous but incredibly tiny bubbles. This screamed for caviar and/or sashimi. WOW. (96 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker
 
Posts: 1894 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: Jan 08, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The complexity blows past the 95. It is still young but deliriously good.


First of all....if you were anything less than blown away by the 1995, you had an "off" or improperly stored bottle. My note for that:

http://forums.winespectator.co...=799102535#799102535

At the Salon Tasting I went to last week, Jean Baptiste Cristini of Salon was raving about how good the '95 is showing right now.

I can see how many are enamored with the 1996. It's a Parkerized Salon. Full, rich, massive. There isn't anything bad about it...for me...it's just more of a Pam Anderson than a Kate Hudson. And, when I think of Salon, I think more Kate Hudson, Holmes, or Winslet!

Sidenote....We had dinner at Jardinere in S.F. about a month ago. I ordered a bottle of Pierre Moncuit NV Mesnil off the list. The sommelier (very knowlegable, friendly, and loves to talk shop) talked about his trip to Champagne not too long ago. He said the goal of the trip was to get a Magnum of his "favorite vintage" of Salon because they are so hard to find in the US. We talked about some of the recent vintages, including the '96, and at the end of the conversation I asked..."So, what vintage did you want the magnum of?". He said...."THE 1995!" That would be my choice as well.


So much wine.....so little time!!!
 
Posts: 7015 | Location: San Francisco | Registered: Jun 20, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by dr.darkrichandbold:

First of all....if you were anything less than blown away by the 1995, you had an "off" or improperly stored bottle.


... someone ought to let Wilson Daniels know about the masses of off '95 Salon they apparently sent to the Midwestern states. Cool

Actually, my last couple of bottles of '95 (have had several so far this year) have been notably more enjoyable than previous ones; very good wine indeed. I think it's among the best '95s... I just haven't liked many of the '95s so much and think they pale in comparison to the best '96s (among them Salon).

Again, have had it multiple times but not for a couple of years, but I've found '96 Salon to be intensely high-pitched and steely Chardonnay, incredibly precise, and very firmly structured. Based on my bottles, I'd be amazed if it weren't drinking just fine for several decades +.
 
Posts: 1489 | Location: Chicago, IL | Registered: Oct 30, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've found '96 Salon to be intensely high-pitched and steely Chardonnay


I honestly think you're describing the '95! That wine is very steely and high pitched.

The '96 is more concentrated, robust, and full. Granted it has the acidity to back it up, but is a massive, full bodied, thick, Chard. It reminds me of the GMC Hummer! Built like a tank. The '95 is the Aston Martin...

To each his own....everyone's palates are different!


So much wine.....so little time!!!
 
Posts: 7015 | Location: San Francisco | Registered: Jun 20, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nice golden hue with persistent tiny bubbles. Nose of slate and lemons. Palate is robust but sooo young primarily dominated by lemon and a grapefruit finish. My guess is that this will be quite similar to the 85 Salon once it fully matures. 93pts
 
Posts: 1289 | Location: Orange County, CA | Registered: Feb 09, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This bottle has a few milestones for me: the highest I've yet to rate a bottle of wine and the most I've paid for 750ml!

Moderate yet tiny bubble structure with a medium golden color. Steely core dripping in Meyer lemon; hazelnut body followed by layers and layers of citrus (lemon, lime, unripe orange), along with drying minerality and a never ending finish. Mind blowing..... its as if a chemist has extracted all of the previous flavors and put a super concentrated drop of each into my glass.

This was an absolute joy to share with others. It is true, sometimes its better to give than receive....this will not be the last time this crosses my lips.....

99 points.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Racer117,


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Posts: 365 | Location: Carlsbad, CA., USA | Registered: Jul 30, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by wineismylife:
I’d recommend holding myself.
I bet you would.


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Posts: 2940 | Location: Houston | Registered: Apr 01, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by NolanE:
quote:
Originally posted by wineismylife:
I’d recommend holding myself.
I bet you would.


...in 2007, no question.
 
Posts: 29993 | Location: Dallas, TX & Santa Fe, NM | Registered: Feb 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Racer117:
This bottle has a few milestones for me: the highest I've yet to rate a bottle of wine and the most I've paid for 750ml!

Moderate yet tiny bubble structure with a medium golden color. Steely core dripping in Meyer lemon; hazelnut body followed by layers and layers of citrus (lemon, lime, unripe orange), along with drying minerality and a never ending finish. Mind blowing..... its as if a chemist has extracted all of the previous flavors and put a super concentrated drop of each into my glass.

This was an absolute joy to share with others. It is true, sometimes its better to give than receive....this will not be the last time this crosses my lips.....

99 points.


Sounds amazing! Happy New Year Monsieur Racer.


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Posts: 2859 | Location: San Diego | Registered: Jan 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Red guy in a blue state:
quote:
Originally posted by Racer117:
This bottle has a few milestones for me: the highest I've yet to rate a bottle of wine and the most I've paid for 750ml!

Moderate yet tiny bubble structure with a medium golden color. Steely core dripping in Meyer lemon; hazelnut body followed by layers and layers of citrus (lemon, lime, unripe orange), along with drying minerality and a never ending finish. Mind blowing..... its as if a chemist has extracted all of the previous flavors and put a super concentrated drop of each into my glass.

This was an absolute joy to share with others. It is true, sometimes its better to give than receive....this will not be the last time this crosses my lips.....

99 points.


Sounds amazing! Happy New Year Monsieur Racer.


+1, and nice notes too!
 
Posts: 1417 | Location: Murrieta, CA | Registered: Mar 14, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nice note! This is a great wine. Love its citrus flavors, so pure on top of the minerality. Winner
 
Posts: 1894 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: Jan 08, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Winetex:
Nice note! This is a great wine. Love its citrus flavors, so pure on top of the minerality. Winner


To me, Salon is great, period.
 
Posts: 29993 | Location: Dallas, TX & Santa Fe, NM | Registered: Feb 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Doesn't quite reach the crescendo of a previous bottle but this one flies high indeed.

From a restaurant's wine list and fairly priced at that. Right from the get go this was offering up so much. The nose was fairly shy all evening but it more than made up for it in the flavor department. There was lemon, hazelnut, and a distinct coconut icee flavor perfectly positioned in the mid-palate. After some air (and a request for a white wine glass), this wine's tight steel core could be sensed. The last sips showed some caramel and toffee. This is a fabulous wine! 97 points.


**********************

"One barrel of wine can work more miracles than a church full of saints." - Italian proverb.
 
Posts: 365 | Location: Carlsbad, CA., USA | Registered: Jul 30, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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