1997 Salon $249 - RMP-95 pts!

Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

K&L is blowing out some wines. This is one.

2006 Havens Merlot for $7 is another.

It’s getting there, but don’t forget the '96 came out for even less, still doesn’t cost much more than that, and the '95 was a $150 bottle. The original price for '97 Salon was bubble-fed (no pun intended) wishful thinking and will need more than a small correction before it interests me.

I suspect this will fall even farther…I havent had the wine yet…anybody?

My suspicion too.

I mean this sincerely (haven’t been following the boards much lately), is this a joke?


I’ve had one small taste of Salon 1997 at a trade event and, like many 97 fizzes, I didn’t think it was up to much. It just seemed a touch weak and diffuse.

If anyone feels the need to buy this wine at this price then can they please also lend me a tenner?


I dont think so…I mean it is on the low end of pricing…but as previously said…this should fall farther.


(and I like 97 bubblies)

David - find the following, they’re neither weak nor diffuse:

97 Chiquet Special Club

97 Bollinger

97 Vilmart Coeur de Cuvee

Hi Peter,

I’ve tried Bolly 97 on a number of occasions and, alas, I was never thrilled; it seemed perilously expensive for a wine I felt was lacking personality and I couldn’t see ageing gracefully either. I don’t know Chiquet so I shall look out for this wine, thanks for the ‘heads up’. 97 Vilmart CdeC is clearly a brilliant wine and probably the best 1997 Champagne I’ve tasted. It is top kit, alright. Rare as hen’s teeth, sadly.


'97 Salon is pretty good but can’t compare to the '96. The price needs to drop below $200 for it to be a buy.
However, you can’t compare release prices of '95 or '96 Salon to '97 Salon. Different year, different exchange rate, different market.

The 97 Salon is actually a pretty good wine. Worth the original $300-$400, it came out at, no. Worth above $200, no. In the $150-$200 range (under $200 as Ray notes) would be about right. As far as 1997 went, Salon is one of the top wines of the vintage and in general, Le-Mesnil-sur-Oger and a few other Cote de Blancs villages were the highlight of the vintage (Pierre Peters Cuvee Speciale and Pascal Doquet’s Le Mesnil vintage wine are both showing nicely; for a neighboring village Diebolt Vallois’s Fleur de Passion is also a winner). Salon never wanted the 97 to be priced so high, but did increase the ex-domaine price to importers/distributors over the 96. The exchange rate and importers/distributors jacked on a lot of the increase which can be seen due to the recent discounting (Salon isn’t decreasing the price, the other folks are). In my area, the 95 was around $179 on release, the 96 could be found at $199 on release (future releases went up slowly to $249), and the 97 at $389. Ridiculous for the 97 even though I like the wine.

While I wouldn’t be a buyer at $249, that is probably about where this wine should have been priced on release without excess greed getting in the way.

And I am convinced it will go below $200.

It will - I’m betting below $175

I think 97 Salon may even have a hard time moving at $175. Look at the 2002 Cristal - a lot critics have given it big scores and 2002 is a really good vintage. The price has still steadily fallen like a rock all the way down to $170 and it isn’t exactly disappearing from shelves. Now I know a lot more Cristal is made than Salon, but without any big press and the fact that 97 is a rather boring vintage in general, I don’t think it moves very well at $175 despite being a better wine than the 2002 Cristal IMO.

Slight deviation, but the price history of Salon is interesting as well. When Krug launched Clos du Mesnil with the 79 vintage, Salon was essentially gone from the US market. Clos du Mesnil helped open the doors back up and Salon chose to match the price when they released their 79 in 1987 with both in the $100-$110 suggested retail price range. Up until then, the only Champagne above $100 was Cristal Rose which was in the $180-$199 range.

Funny how things have changed over the last 20+ years. Cristal Rose and Salon have had a somewhat normal and expected increase (at least until the 97 Salon). Clos du Mesnil went stratospheric and even more so was Bollinger’s VVF. Dom Perignon is the one cuvee that hasn’t even doubled its price since then.


Great comparison.

I am amazed how much 2002 Cristal is still available.

There is an almost unlimited supply of most post 1996 champagne out there. 98 krug can now be had for sub $200. I expect to see that wine to also drop a bit more - maybe another 10 percent
Friends of mine have literally hundreds of cases of 96 salon, dp, krug, cdc, etc while only a case or two (some zero) of the post 96 vintages I guarantee you that the producers are still sitting on a ton of young juice

Well, Ray, your friends are not like my friends.


Good points. If you look at the yields of today vs. those in the mid-70s and before and then add in the production increase of many tete de cuvees due to land acquisition and not yield, you realize that the production of many of these wines today is double or more what they used to be (excluding most single vineyard or similar cuvees like CdM, CdG, CF, etc…). Now take into account that a lot of the older Champagnes have been consumed already and the pricing of many current vintages vs. well stored older stuff just doesn’t always make sense.

The 96 hype was unbelievable and prices were very reasonable. I’m not sure it is something we will see again for a long while. As good as 2002 and 2008 are looking, I don’t see the stars aligning to push demand like we saw with the 96s. For some reason, the Champagne supply chain determined that it must be up, up, up from 96 onwards. Looks like that isn’t working out so well.


I take it your friends have been the ones hoarding hundreds of cases of the 97-99 vintages? neener