Salon Blanc de Blancs Le Mesnil-sur-Oger 1997
Wonderfully refined, it is intriguing and enticing, its minerality complemented by hints of white flowers, acacia and hawthorn. A salty note enhances aromas of bread crust, brioche and the merest hint of green apple and hazelnut.
The palate is quintessentially pure, the very epitome of balance and restraint. Exuberant on entry, the mousse becomes more of a caress, while... View More
Lightly burnished yellow-gold hue with a halo-like mousse. Lovely aged aromas of citrus, mineral and brioche. Citrus flavors of grapefruit and lemon peel laced with char and chalk. Lively, youthful finish embodies a perfectly dry, acidic brut style. With every release, this quintessential Blanc de Blancs sets the standard for chardonnay-based Champagne. $500 / 785 cases imported.
That these wines are both expensive and superb as a class comes as no surprise, and yet, even in the midst of such excellence, this bottling stands out for its full, rich, developed, incisively toasty first notes followed by deep, rich, chalky, hazelnut, honey and nicely fruity smells and flavors of extraordinary depth and volume. It captures a perfect mix of richness in its mousse and texture with the slight austerity one wants in Champagne, and, for all of its complexity, it promises to unwind further with age.
The pure essence of limestone, this vintage is maturing into the grandeur of a great Le Mesnil Champagne while remaining fresh and lively. It offers rich lemon curd and baked apple flavors, chalky power and gravitas without weight. The flavors remain impacted below the limestone earthiness, the wine's structure and balance suited to extended aging.