I love Champagne and ive had some of the top cuvees and vintages but not the really high end ones. A friend of mine is telling me that Salon just blows away the next tier like DP, Krug and Dom Ruinart.
Interested in thoughts of people who have tasted the Salon
Good and distinctive, yes. Worth trying, yes. And the 96 is perhaps my favorite champagne ever. But in no universe does Salon “blow away” Krug or DP. in my view, Krug is much more consistent and hits just as high of highs.
It’s good, great in some vintages; pretty much Cristal, dom, krug, and wc are all in the same ballpark imo, vintage dependent. Obviously in some vintages it will be much worse than more Pinot heavy wines.
QPR is a personal thing. Does Salon deserve its price? The market speaks. Is Salon good enough to demand the price? For me yes, though it keeps me from buying as much as I would like. But a lot of that love is a stylistic preference. It is very different from Krug Mesnil, which I also love. The Salon is a fraction of the price. I find Salon to be brutal when young but once it hits its stride it is sublime. Unless you are patient I would not play the Salon game.
Is Salon worth it? Yes. Does it blow away Krug? No. Salon and Krug are very different styles and are in my books two great producers. Neither blows the other away. I’ve had 96 Salon and 96 Krug side by side many times and it’s pretty much dead even. If I had to pick only one producer of Champagne, I’d go with Salon… but that’s just personal preference of course.
Also, for those talking about 2006 Comtes, I echo the sentiment of bottle variation. I am scared to open any more of my bottles as I never know what I’m gonna get. Sometimes they are pristine, soaring, and gorgeous, other times they are harsh, severe, ugly, flawed.
Salon v Krug Clos de Mesnil, not Krug vintage, as previously stated by Kelly is quite a different comparison and question. Krug has a far superior track record since they began producing Clos de Mesnil in 1979. Salon has suffered in comparison because of enormous bottle variation. In the early 90’s in NYC I tasted with Salon owners a bottle from each decade of the 20th century beginning with the 20’s, the wines having originated from their cave and sadly several were undrinkable. Krug Mesnil is much better in lesser vintages than Salon. Salon price has escalated recently not as yet approaching that of Krug Mesnil. 96 Salon when on is a revelation. Currently 96 Krug Mesnil is a baby compared to Salon but in 96 Salon might very well be the better wine. Only time will tell.
Currently Comtes 96 is flat out brilliant, as is Peters Blanc de Blancs, Pol Roger, Roederer, and the extraordinary Deibolt- Vallois Fleur de Passion which all rewarded aging, and are cruising along perfectly, each having been purchased for a fraction of the price for Krug Clos and Salon. Ruinart 96 notoriously matures at a glacial pace and I’m still optimistic that it will drink like the 79 soon. I have an 07 on deck to try with recent changes in farming and a new winemaker in control having heard great things. Peters now bottles his as Chetillons.
The best news is with the amazing strides made in champagne as to the improved farming practices combined with the now superb wine making there exists great choices at all the different price points. Champagne as a region in my view currently retains the biggest upside of any other wine making area in France and perhaps in the world.
I don’t doubt some ppl have had issues with bottle variation with the 06 comtes but it’s been substantially less than bottle variation I’ve seen with salon, at 1/4 the price. I think that’s reflected in the secondary market prices. I’ve opened more than a case of the 06 comtes so far and every bottle has been good, from 3 different sources.
I’ve never been willing to pay the cost of Salon. Perhaps my biggest regret was in the end of 2010 when I was in Portland there was a store that had the 1996 Salon for $300/bottle. Of course as I look back, it’s easy to see all the “deals” we missed. However, it’s hard to say that almost a decade ago this was way beyond my understanding & appreciation of Champagne. Heck, only two years ago the 2007 was $300…but today it seems you can’t find any for less than $600/bottle. I can’t help but wonder what the magnums of the 2008 are going to run.
Are Salon and Krug worth the price of admission. That is an impossible question as it depends how flush you are and what your tolerance for cost is. I keep Salon and Krug in my cellar because I enjoy them. The QPR for me is fine. It might not be for you. And buying vintage of either of these is going to set you back quite a bit.