A tribute to the founders: Billecart-Salmon presents the Louis and Elisabeth cuvées


4 luglio 2024

The historic Maison Billecart-Salmon continues to celebrate its legacy with the release of two cuvées dedicated to its founders - two distinct wines from the 2012 vintage dedicated to the Salmon brothers: Elisabeth Salmon Rosé and Louis Salmon Blanc de Blancs. 

An excellent vintage premiering in Italy

The two new Billecart-Salmon special cuvées were released in Italy on June 27. The rosé is dedicated to Elisabeth Salmon, co-founder of the Maison, while the blanc de blancs celebrates Louis Salmon, her brother and the Maison's first chief oenologist. 

Both wines are from 2012, a particularly significant vintage when favorable climatic conditions produced grapes of exceptional quality and optimal balance between sugariness and acidity, which resulted in wines of outstanding aromatic finesse.

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They were presented for the first time in Italy at the Torre di Milano restaurant by Vice President Antoine Roland-Billecart and Chef de Cave Florent Nys. During his keynote speech, Antoine himself paid tribute to continuity and family ties, which played a key role in the history of the Maison, and remarked that while he, a member of the sixth generation, was speaking, the eighth generation - his grandchildren - was probably running around the Maison's gardens.

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The event saw the pairing of refined dishes by Resident Chef Lorenzo Lunghi, like saffron risotto with Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru and octopus tentacle and chickpea cream with the Louis Salmon cuvée. A savarin with blueberries and whipped cream paired with Elisabeth Salmon in a bold but perfectly successful combination.

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The two cuvées

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Elisabeth Salmon Rosè 2012

Elisabeth Salmon is celebrated for her entrepreneurial spirit and innovative vision. She took a leading role in the Maison, navigating the challenges of the company's early years. Her leadership and hard work allowed the Maison to lay solid foundations and prosper during the first half of the 19th century. Her ability to anticipate trends and innovate in keeping with tradition made Elisabeth Salmon an iconic figure, not just for the Billecart-Salmon family but throughout the world of Champagne.

Created as a tribute to her, Elisabeth Salmon Rosé matured for over 10 years on its lees and is one of the finest expressions of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the best Grand Cru and Premier Cru terroirs. The wine is 55% Chardonnay and 45% Pinot Noir, 10% of which vinified as red wine. With a dosage of 3.8 g/l, disgorged in February 2023, the nose offers a riot of pastry aromas while the mouth has a persistent finish with notes of cedar wood and red orange gelée.

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Louis Salmon Blanc de Blancs 2012

Louis Salmon, Elisabeth's brother, is also a central figure in the history of Maison Billecart-Salmon. As an oenologist, Louis devoted himself to wine production since the company's earliest days, enabling the Maison to develop techniques and methods that have left a lasting mark in winemaking tradition.

A tribute to this key figure, Louis Salmon Blanc de Blancs embodies the unparalleled elegance of a Chardonnay Grand Cru from Côte des Blancs. The grapes come from renowned villages like Le-Mesnil-sur-Oger, Cramant, Chouilly and Oiry. With a dosage of 3.9 g/l disgorged in February 2023, this partially oak-fermented wine features hints of marzipan and brioche coupled with tropical white fruit and white pepper.

the maison

The history of Billecart-Salmon begins with the union of the Billecart and Salmon families through the marriage of Elisabeth and Nicolas François. Later generations have protected this legacy, preserving basic winemaking practices and promoting a company culture based on quality, tradition and innovation. This enabled the Maison to remain one of the few family-run businesses in the world of champagne.

Maison Billecart-Salmon's champagne benefits from the expertise and commitment of skilled craftsmen carefully managing a 100-hectare estate. The grapes come from 40 Champagne crus for a total area of 200 hectares, 15 of which organically farmed. 75% of the grapes are classified as Premier cru or Grand cru, ensuring top-quality wines.

Billecart-Salmon's unique style combines traditional techniques with modern winemaking technologies. In the 1950s, the Maison introduced the cold racking technique and the use of stainless-steel vats for prolonged fermentation at low temperatures. The yeasts come from an exclusive strain, ensuring consistent and distinctive quality. 

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The Maison's cuverie includes 80 small thermoregulated vats, which ensure the traceability of individual vineyards and plots of land. This approach enables to preserve the unique characteristics of the terroir. In keeping with tradition, the winemaking process involves using 5000-liter oak barrels adding complexity and depth to the wines.

Excavated in 1840, the Maison's chalk cellars extend for 2.8 kilometers and are home to 24 foudres and 400 barrels. This environment is ideal for ageing wines and ensures optimal conditions for developing the distinctive aromas and flavors of Billecart-Salmon champagnes.

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