Cuvée Elizabeth Salmon Brut Rosé Vintage Champagne 2008
“When I tasted the Elisabeth Salmon 2008 at my home in Valence, it brought up a lot of emotions: there is a lot of depth to this wine. I loved its energy and vigour, so harmonious and balanced, with a perfect mix of vinous and chalky tones.” – Anne-Sophie Pic, Three-Michelin Star Chef
More than a decade in the making, Billecart-Salmon Cuvée Elizabeth Salmon Brut Rosé Vintage Champagne 2008 is a work of art. We’ve managed to get our hands on it before the major critics have released their scores, but it’s worth noting that Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate awarded the 2007 version 96 points, but the “extraordinary” 2008 vintage was their most highly rated year in Champagne since the publication’s records began. So, we’re expecting massive scores when they come.
Crafted using Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes sourced from Grand and Premier Cru sites, 17% was fermented in old oak barrels and the wine spent ten years ageing on the lees. Named in honour of the House’s co-founder, Cuvée Elizabeth Salmon uses red wine from Valofroy in its elaboration, and that gives it a mesmerising (and rather fitting) salmon-pink colour. Blood orange peel, tangerine, red berry sorbet, ripe raspberry, tarte aux pommes, croissant and strawberry jam, roasted peaches and cream, cherry, cranberry and redcurrant; it’s richly flavoured but with a perfectly balancing acidity. A noble cuvée from a stunning vintage; it’s going to be hard to find a better rosé Champagne than this.
Billecart-Salmon – often referred to as “Billy” by those who drink it regularly – can be found in the village of Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, just outside Epernay and off on a limb slightly from the bigger Champagne houses. Despite the immense quality they produce, their location and medium size have kept them slightly under the radar. Rather than loading their Champagne into every shop and restaurant, they’ve drip fed them into expert retailers and the Michelin star restaurants of Paris, which gives them a sense of exclusivity and that this is a brand for those in-the-know.
Created by the union of Elisabeth Salmon and Nicolas François Billecart in 1818, Billecart-Salmon remains under the ownership of the establishing family, which is a real rarity in the big business world of Champagne. Now in the hands of the seventh generation, they continue to focus on the family motto: “Give priority to quality, strive for excellence.” And they do it with aplomb, slowly fermenting at low temperatures to maintain the purity and aromatics of their wines. As Jancis Robinson says, “every Champagne enthusiast needs to be familiar with its wine… Billecart-Salmon is set apart as classy, elegant and understated, both the wine itself and the image the house cultivates.” But, be warned, Billecart-Salmon may not remain one of those hidden gems forever, especially as one of the wines was named “Champagne of the Millennium” by a committee of expert. Interestingly, they also took the second place in that same tasting, which comprised 150 of the finest Champagnes of the 20th Century. As a result, Champagne expert Richard Juhlin warns that this house is “very much in fashion at the moment” and goes as far as to say: “Make sure that you buy wines from Billecart-Salmon before they become as expensive as Krug!”
£24.67 per 100.00ml
SKU No.: 3576423
Style No.: 854707
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