The why, the what and the how of...
Salon is a unique Champagne house. Not only is it the smallest of the grandes marques but, it is also defined by three criteria that were unique until Krug started producing its Clos du Mesnil in 1979: it is made from a single variety, Chardonnay; from a single but outstanding village, Mesnil; and is only made as a vintage wine. That means that in many years no Salon is produced. In fact, the release of more than three vintages in a decade is considered a lot.
The rarity of this Champagne is increased by the positively microscopic amounts of Champagne it produces; a mere 50 000 bottles. Many experts and connoisseurs consider this to be the ultimate Blanc de Blancs and something every champagne lover deserves to experience if only once.
The use of oak barrels was done away with as recently as 1989 and the result is a linear and fresh acidity to the wines in their youth, which gives this champagne the structure to age in bottle – for up to 20-30 years if patience permits. Once bottled, the relevant vintage of Salon only leaves the cellar for the market after 10 years of maturation in bottle. A small amount will be held back for further maturation on the lees to be released as a later disgorgement.
In the words of the most respected Champagne critics, Richard Juhlin, “Salon is the most sought-after champagne among connoisseurs.” This is the ultimate Champagne experience.
Image credits: ©Mathieu Garçon & ©Leif Carlsson