Robert Parker 98+
Back in 2014, Salon’s president Didier Depond was quoted in the press as saying that “since 2008, there has been no genuinely great vintage in Champagne” and that a 2012 from Salon wouldn’t be released. But the just-released 2012 Brut Blanc de Blancs Le Mesnil shows that he had good reason to change his mind, as to my palate this is, after the 2008, the finest Salon produced this millennium. Unwinding in the glass with notes of citrus oil, wet stones, freshly baked bread, white currants and oyster shell, it’s full-bodied, deep and concentrated, with a tightly wound core of fruit, racy acids and an elegant pinpoint mousse. Concluding with a long and resonant finish, this is a structured and powerful Salon that’s a lot more incisive than, for example, the 2002 at the same stage, but which also carries more muscle and substance than a leaner vintage such as 2007. For readers that have balked at the pricing of the magnum-only 2008, the 2012 isn’t far off the latter’s level in quality, and will presumably be distributed more conventionally.
Anticipated maturity: 2025-2050
The 2012 Salon is absolutely gorgeous. It offers a beguiling mix of radiance and energy that seems to capture a little bit of elements of some of its older siblings. The expression of fruit is radiant and quite overt, but without reaching the tropical exuberance of the 2006. In shape, the 2012 recalls the mid-weight style of 2007 with the freshness of 2008, but not quite the youthful austerity of that wine. If that sounds like an appealing combination, well it is. The 2012 Salon is all harmony and class.
Anticipated maturity: 2022-2043