TN:1995 Salon & 1999 Raveneau Blanchots

  • 1995 Salon Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs - France, Champagne, Le Mesnil Sur Oger, Champagne (6/10/2009)
    yellow color, lovely vibrant stream of bubbles. biscuity nose. wakes the mouth up, a touch of apple but mainly pure clean acid and minerals with a little oxidation. very long, a really good drink with years ahead of it (94 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

  • 1999 François Raveneau Chablis Grand Cru Les Blanchots - France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru (6/10/2009)
    lemon yellow with a hint of green, opened and decanted for an hour+ before tasting, slightly tight at first taste but then starts to reveal some lemony petrol flavors. light to medium weight wine but goes on and on for a long time. this was an amazingly clean, pure, linear wine. i kept coming back to it and every time it was a bit more complex. loved it (93 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

Ken,

The oxidation you note on the 95 strikes me as a bit worrisome as past recent vintages that have seen extremely high variation started showing oxidation around 15 years of age and it kept building and building. I haven’t found any oxidation notes on the 95, but I also haven’t had a bottle in over a year or maybe 1 1/2 years. Any other details you can share on this character as I am hopeful the 95 will be a clean Salon (the 90 is clean, but didn’t exactly turn out as planned).

brad
i think of salon made in in a oxidized manner
i get it in the 90 as well
it is part of their style

Ken,

I don’t view Salon as oxidative in style. Stainless steel, no malo, clean facility and top notch process… there is nothing that should make any recent vintage oxidative. Pre-80 vintages saw oak and the facility wasn’t exactly the highest in quality before Laurent-Perrier took over in the late 80s, but even older vintages that are representative are fresh and bright and not oxidative at all to me. The 90 is a unique case in its oxidation and Salon will tell you it isn’t their favorite vintage and hasn’t developed as hoped or desired. IMO, oxidation on younger bottles of Salon is a flaw. Have to run to a dinner, but I’ll write more on this later.

brad-
your knowledge of champagne and tasting experience is far greater than mine so perhaps i used the wrong word
i did not mean oxidized as a flaw, i find salon has a distinctive taste amongst champagnes, even all blanc and low dosage ones
to me it is a touch of sophistication, sherry, development
i did not find this bottle of 95 flawed at all, just very different than other 95 champagnes

So who ruined the USA shipment of the 1988 Salon?

The only good bottles of the 1988 seem to be in Europe.

Ken,

It may be a difference in terminology, but I would personally be worried by sherry notes in my 95 Salon. The 95-97 trio have all been extremely fresh from my experiences (granted I have had the 96 and 97 much more lately than the 95). I do start to pick up a few more mature notes in many Salons as they hit 20, but they should be minimal IMO and I would classify them as a delicately spiced, creamy, white nuttiness - I could see some calling this sherried, but to me it really isn’t. Salon is known for going through awkward periods, but even in these periods the wine doesn’t really go sherried or oxidative… it just gets weird and is best left alone for a while.

Regardless all that matters is that you liked the bottled; as hard as it is to calibrate palates, it can be even harder to calibrate descriptive terminology.

Nathan,

88 Salon is variable all over. US, Europe, in Salon’s cellars. Most older vintages of Salon are variable. I have confidence in the 90, 95, 96, and 97 not being affected with high variability like older vintages as some things have changed since then. I do think the 90 is a weird wine, but Salon isn’t exactly thrilled with how the 90 is going either. Issues with the 90 to me have more to do with where the wine as a whole is going and not odd variation.

BB
fair enough
what words would you use to describe overlap between selosse style and salon

Ken,

Personally, I don’t see a lot of overlap between Salon and Selosse with their current cuvees. Both show incredible intensity of fruit and pure minerality, but Selosse is made in an oxidative style from the start. I love them both, but I dont’ really see them as similar. Just my opinion.