Le Mesnil 2012 Salon
|Raisin||Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir|
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.
Winespectator / James Suckling (98)
This starts off tightly knit, but opens up to aromas of chalk, biscuit, lemon pith and jasmine, then turning to apricot, tangerine peel, pastries and chamomile. Dried apple and hints of mint, dried spice and juniper, too. It’s layered and refined with wonderful complexity. Well-integrated mousse and acidity here, making it so approachable already. Evolves and builds.