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Auction: Auction 01.10.1999
was auctioned on: 1 October 1999
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Salon, Le Mesnil --Vintage 1943 (1) --Vintage 1959 (1) --Vintage 1966 (1) --Vintage 1973 (1) All above in original gift cartons --Vintage 1976 In original wooden case magnum (1) Salon, Le Mesnil, Blanc de Blancs --Vintage 1979 (1) --Vintage 1982 (1) ...

Estimate: US$1,800 - US$2,400
Price realised:  US$4,025
Lot number 1160, Views: 93

SALON LE MESNIL Salon is the most desirable champagne among real connoisseurs. This magnificent wine is so rare that only a few people have had the chance to taste the quintessence of Le Mesnil. In 1867 a perfectionist by the name of Aimi Salon was born. He grew up in Champagne and dreamed of creating the perfect champagne at an early age. After a short period as a teacher he became a successful fur trader, which gave him the capital needed to buy two small vineyards covering a total of one hectare in Le Mesnil. He made his first champagne in 1911 and formed a champagne house in 1914. As early as in 1920, Salon became the house wine at Maxim in Paris. Salon was the first commercial blanc de blancs and a monocru besides. It's quite remarkable that the fame and praise heaped upon the firm has continued through the years, as the big names see Salon's philosophy as a direct antithesis. In principle Salon is a grower's champagne, considering that the wine contains only one kind of grape from just one cru. Salon may well be the best "grower" of all, but the success shows that Selosse, Peters, Diebolt and Charlemagne are all on the right course after all. When even the masters of the blend - Krug - made a monocru champagne from Le Mesnil, it became harder for the major companies to sing the praises of blending in such dogmatic fashion. After Aimi died in 1943, the firm stayed within the family up until 1963, when Besserat de Bellefon took over the show. In 1989 Salon was bought up by Laurent-Perrier, and today the firm is run by the infinitely charming and spiritual Didier Depond, who had worked for Laurent-Perrier. Recently the oak barrels have been thrown out, but that hardly affects the flavour, as the Le Mesnil Chardonnay grapes take up the most nutty and toasty aromas you could think of without even having seen an oak cask. Salon's two areas in the village are always the ones where the leaves come out first, which shows that the microclimate there is exceptional. The average age of the vines is around fifty, and the other 75 of the grapes needed are chosen each year from the best growers in the village. Salon demands longer storage than any other champagne. The wines do not go through malolactic fermentation and have a razor-sharp acidity in their youth, which carries the wine through the years to unparalleled heights. A mature Salon expresses a gigantically broad aromatic spectrum and has a burgundy-like vinosity. The stringency is maintained throughout the wine's life, and as Salon has almost no dosage the wine never becomes an exotic charmer like Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, but it is unmatched in terms of class and purity. Salon is only made in exceptionally good years, and in other years the grapes go to make up Delamotte. Since 1921 the following vintages have been produced: 1921, 25, 28, 34, 37, 43, 46, 47, 48, 49, 51, 52, 53, 55, 59, 61, 64, 66, 69, 71, 73, 76, 79, 82, 83, 85 and 88. Nor should you miss the coming 1990 vintage. Salon, Le Mesnil --Vintage 1943 (1) --Vintage 1959 (1) --Vintage 1966 (1) --Vintage 1973 (1) All above in original gift cartons --Vintage 1976 In original wooden case magnum (1) Salon, Le Mesnil, Blanc de Blancs --Vintage 1979 (1) --Vintage 1982 (1) Two above in original gift cartons aftertaste of lanolin and butter." RJ Above 6 bottles and 1 magnum per lot Salon

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Christie's
Title: Auction 01.10.1999
Date of the auction: 1 Oct 1999
Address: Christie's
New York, Rockefeller Center