Na een reeks vintages die bekend staan als “Shining Light”(2007), “Romantic” (2006) en “Serenity” (2004) volgt nu “Dream” vintage 2008. Een droom van een vintage in ieder opzicht!
Met een productie van slechts 8000 magnums was het de kleinste oogst ooit, maar tegelijkertijd de allerbeste ooit. De kwaliteit van 2008 staat op gelijke voet met de mythische Salon vintages 1982, 1966 en 1928, maar zal daar naar verwachting ver bovenuit gaan steken. Salon heeft 2009, 2010 en 2011 overgeslagen, omdat de kwaliteit van de oogst niet aan hun hoge maatstaven voldeed.
Vintage 2008 is zó goed, dat Salon voor het eerst heeft besloten de champagne alleen in magnums te bottelen. De reden hiervan is dat de rijping in dit formaat langzamer en subtieler verloopt dan in gewone flessen. En dat betekent de kwaliteit en complexiteit in de komende jaren alleen maar zal toenemen.
For the first time in its history, Salon’s 2008 vintage was released exclusively in magnum bottles and production was limited to only 8,000 bottles in total. Available exclusively in the ‘Limited Edition Oenotheque Case’ featuring four vintages: 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004.
Salon’s 2008 vintage awarded a perfect 100 points:
Each Limited Edition Oenotheque Case includes:
Salon honours the memory of its founder, a century on. In the 1910s, Eugène-Aimé Salon had a vision, a dream: to create a champagne for all time, from a single grape variety, chardonnay, laid bare in all its subtlety; from a single great terroir, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger; and from a single superlative year, the vintage.
A stand-alone defined by its singularity; subtle and complex, the world’s ultimate champagne.
The 2008 vintage of Champagne Salon is the absolute embodiment of this quest for perfection. It contains within it the poignant beauty of nature, reflecting its long, slow toil in the silence of the cellar. This is where that astonishing backdrop of savoury minerals emerged, that sensation of chalk in the mouth: an immediate hit, building slowly, gradually, ultimately all-enveloping. It was here that this virile wine took form, exceeding all expectations, here that its beautiful minerality was forged, heralding a wine with limitless ageing potential. In achieving perfect balance, nature’s work is complete.
The dream vintage
After a mild winter, rainy spring and a positively glacial start to June, flowering was understandably reticent. But the vine is hardy and the skies proved favourable to the growers. June settled into its usual summer spirit and the fruit set looked promising: high quality grapes, even if the crop would be small. Superb conditions in August saw the harvest date confirmed, only for a dull early September to trigger last-minute angst. The chardonnays took their time, but prospered nonetheless, gaining in power right up until 17th September, when Salon’s parcels in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger were finally harvested.
2008 has yielded an exceptional champagne, true to the timeless spirit of Salon and the dream of Eugène-Aimé himself. A complicated year that has proved to be unique, it is the ultimate expression of chardonnay’s sublime potential, the genius of its site and its people.
Taste it and drink it just cool, between 13 and 15 degrees.
In the glass, Salon 2008 is the epitome of Salon – diaphanous, yellow diamond glinting with green rays; on the nose its aromatic depth is powerfully redolent of the earth, heralding on the palate that sense of balance and structural firmness that will allow the wine to develop its full complexity. There is a driving sense of stone here, a heightened minerality, its chalky acidity first drying then mouthwatering, slender and rapier-fine to the end of time to blossom finally like a flower, turning on the charm, its tiny, fine bubbles tantalizing…
Nature’s rich bounty provides so many matches for Salon 2008, from the air, land and sea. The sole requirement: it must be exquisite. Whatever that means for you – your grandma’s cooking, the revelation of your first truffle, oyster or caviar, that delicious ceviche or tempura, Salon 2008 will take its place at the table, generous and all-embracing in spirit. Faithful to the extraordinary vision of its founder, transcending all limits, Salon 2008 is the dream vintage: a champagne for all time.
The bubbles are fine, quick : the very essence of Salon 2007 in all its dynamic luminous energy. In the glass, aromas form a moving backdrop, fresh and bright as sunrise : lemon, lime, yuzu, then green apple, a hint of smoked tea and fresh herbs on wet stone. The palate is focused on backbone and purity : this is the terroir of Le Mesnil taking centre stage, displaying its unique rigour and stony imprint.
First of all, just wait. Once Salon 2006 has been uncorked, leave it a little while, to breathe, to open out. Then, just look at it: its shimmering golden colour, glinting silver and green. The never-ending bubbles, so tiny, setting free the familiar betwitching scents of Salon in its first flush. Notes of white flowers, citrus zest, lightly toasted brioche. Then the glass fills magically with autumnal tones, fresh hazelnuts, praline, dried apricot, ripe yellow fruits. A romantic of the highest order, Salon 2006 embodies the carefree spirit of youth, tempered by experience. And there lies its true enigma and charm. To know restraint but be generous, to combine lightness with solidity.
Clean and lively on the attack, the wine’s intense freshness and minerality deliver on its aromatic promise – an impressive nose with notes of minerals, gunflint, stones, smoked tea, just a touch of mint. Taut and edgy in the mouth, the wine is all purity and fine acidity.
The wine becomes rounder as it airs in the glass, revealing a beautiful vinosity, the curve counter-balancing its acidity to perfection. And on the finish, the merest hint of
bitterness, the signature of so many truly great wines.
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