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Professional Ratings: 96 Wine & Spirits, 96 Wilfred Wong of Wine.com, 95 The Wine Advocate, 94 Wine Spectator, 94 International Wine Cellar
Region: Champagne, France
Varietal: Vintage Sparkling Wine
Other Info: Collectible Wines, Great Wine Gift
Alcohol By Volume: 12%
Item no. 113975
A very pale yellow with barely green hints and a lively but discreet nose, the 1999 Salon has a youthful grace that captures the palate, firm and textured. Brioche, white bread, white blossom, white fruit and bitter almond flavors are still developing. The middle palate is crystalline and it has a lingering finish with hints of citrus.
As it turns 15, this wine still has youthful notes of chamomile and meadow flowers. Its flavor intensity, a force of nature pitting those vibrant, sunny floral notes against a resonant limestone earth tone, is something that could only have been achieved through all those years in bottle. While the mousse is persistent and as fine as a mist, the flavors are vinous, suggesting you serve this wine as you would a Corton-Charlemagne: with something equally luscious and rich, like seared scallops over truffled mashed potatoes.
Razor-sharp and so precise, the delicious refined 1999 Salon takes it single vineyard heritage beyond the real world. Green apple and mineral in spades, with brightness that seems to linger on forever. Yes, this is an extremely precious wine. Make sure to pick the best food matching and people to be present before popping the cork.
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.
There's a sense of finesse to this sleek, elegant Champagne, which has a creamy texture and seamlessly integrated structure, offering subtly layered flavors of ripe white peach, black raspberry fruit, lemon meringue pie, pickled ginger and blanched almond. Drink now through 2028.
Bright yellow-gold. Deeply pitched, pungent aromas of candied lemon, pear skin, anise, buttered toast and smoky lees, with notes of ginger and white flowers adding lift. Densely packed yet vibrant, showing impressive power and clarity to its mineral-accented citrus and orchard fruit flavors. Expands on the finish but maintains its focus, picking up iodine and bitter lime notes that linger impressively. A more vibrant rendition of Salon than the 1997 version, but with a bit less concentration than the 1996. This should be a slow ager.
The 1999 Brut Blanc de Blancs is impenetrable. This is a massive, full-bodied Salon that totally saturates the palate with fruit. Neither as austere or pointed as the 1996, nor as open as the 1997, instead the 1999 comes across as big, rich and powerful. There is little in the way of flavor or aromatic development, and it may be some time before any real complexity develops in bottle. Today it looks like the wine's best days are well off into the future. 94+