Similarly, the Cuvée Elisabeth Salmon has long been considered one of the great prestige Rosés of France, and Billecart-Salmon has once again set the pace for this category with their near-perfect Cuvée Elisabeth from Champagne's epic 2008 vintage. Built around a core of 55% Pinot Noir rounded out with Chardonnay from a host of the region's top Grand Crus, this is a wine not to be missed.
As good as the two aforementioned wines have been over the years, Billecart's smallest production is reserved for their superb Le Clos Saint-Hilaire, sourced from a tiny plot of 100% Pinot Noir planted in 1964. The chalky soils of this 1-hectare monopole vineyard impart incredible levels of minerality and a laser-like focus to this one-of-a-kind Champagne. Just seven vintages of Clos Saint-Hilaire have ever been released.
This afternoon we have the privilege of sharing limited quantities of all three of these prestige cuvées from Billecart-Salmon. Arriving into AMFW late this year, act now to reserve your case of one of the best.
Brut Blanc de Noirs Champagne
£970 per case 3
99 Points | James Suckling
Baked raspberries, salted yellow plums, figs, walnuts, orange zest, mahogany and some toasted vanilla on the nose. Medium-to full-bodied with beautifully integrated, very fine bubbles. Dry, with exciting and unique white-pepper and sea-salt notes. Seamless. So harmonious. Salty and spicy clove notes evolving at the end. Amazing precision. Single parcel pinot noir, 100% vinified in oak barrels. No malo. 2g/l dosage. Disgorged November 2020.
98 Points | Antonio Galloni, Vinous
The 2006 Le Clos Saint-Hilaire is fabulous. In this radiant year, the Clos Saint-Hilaire has a touch more mid-palate sweetness and generosity, but that's a good thing, as it balances some of the more austere leanings that can make young vintages hard to appreciate upon release. Apricot, lemon confit, ginger, graphite, spice, and crushed rocks are strands in a gorgeous, captivating tapestry that dazzles right out of the gate. The precision here is just mind-blowing. Billecart's 2006 Clos Saint-Hillaire is a very special Champagne, that much is very clear.
2007 Billecart-Salmon Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart
£580 per case 6
97 Points | Antonio Galloni, Vinous
The 2007 Brut Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart is positively stellar. Elegant, polished and sophisticated, the 2007 dazzles with effusive aromatics and gorgeous balance. It's not an obvious wine, though, but rather a Champagne built for long, patient cellaring. The 2007 is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay taken from Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, Ambonnay, Verzenay and Verzy for the Pinots and Chouilly, Avize, Cramant and Mesnil for the Chardonnays. In other words, as good as it gets for villages. The wine was done mostly in tank with about 15% of the lots vinified in oak. Dosage is 6 grams per liter.
97 Points | William Kelley, Wine Advocate
Disgorged with six grams per liter dosage, the 2007 Brut Cuvée Nicolas François is showing very nicely, offering up aromas of fresh bread, citrus oil, crisp yellow orchard fruit, white flowers, verbena, macadamia nut and hints of biscuity complexity to come. Full-bodied, chiseled but fleshy, its vinous core of fruit cloaks the vintage's brisk acids to achieve real plenitude in a year that's sometimes rather tautly austere. Long and penetrating and complemented by a pretty pinpoint mousse, this is a real success.
2008 Billecart-Salmon Cuvée Elisabeth Salmon
Brut Rosé Champagne
£940 per case 6
98 Points | James Suckling
This is very vinous with aromas of iron, strawberries, old roses and geraniums. So aromatic. Full-bodied, really intense and layered with super dryness and depth. Lots of saline and spicy character at the end, such as clove and pepper, as well as hints of flowers and melted butter. Strawberry tart at the end.
97+ Points | Antonio Galloni, Vinous
The 2008 Brut Rosé Cuvée Elisabeth Salmon explodes from the glass with a mesmerizing array of aromas, flavors and textures. Blood orange, cinnamon, mint and dried flowers. The 2008 is incredibly young, but it is also incredibly tempting. Patience will be rewarded. In the meantime, readers might enjoy adding a few bottles of the stellar 2007 to their cellars, as the nervy, taut 2008 needs time. The 2008 is 55% Pinot Noir (from Aÿ, Verzy, Verzenay and Mareuil) and 45% Chardonnay (from Chouilly, Avize and Cramant), with 9% still wine from Mareuil. It is the first vintage that includes a portion of wines (17%) done in barrel and the first vintage in which the magnums were aged on the cork rather than on crown seal. Dosage is 7 grams per liter.