Join Decanter and Champagne Billecart-Salmon for an exclusive first taste of the exceptional Elisabeth Salmon Brut Rosé 2008.
Seventh-generation family member Mathieu Roland-Billecart will join Decanter’s Peter Liem to showcase this new vintage of Billecart-Salmon’s top rosé Champagne as well as the much revered Brut Rosé NV. 


Both wines showcase the house’s unrivalled quality and rigorous approach to rosé winemaking proving that they are wines of distinct personality and remarkable elegance.


This will be an unmissable masterclass for all Champagne fans and especially aficionados of elegant rosé styles.

Please note that this tasting includes two 75cl bottles of both Champagnes instead of small sample bottles so we recommend sharing this virtual masterclass experience with family or friends (while adhering to current government Covid-19 restrictions).

Date: Friday 14 May 2021
Time: 18:00 – 19:00 BST
Hosts: Mathieu Roland-Billecart (Billecart-Salmon) and Peter Liem (Decanter)
Ticket types and price: £195 (including x2 75cl Champagne bottles - UK only), £10 (link only - Champagne not included)

 

Click here for more information about ticket types

  • Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé NV
  • Billecart-Salmon Elisabeth Salmon Brut Rosé 2008

Both Champagnes will be presented in an exclusive Billecart-Salmon gift box with Champagne stopper.

Billecart-Salmon Elisabeth Salmon Brut Rosé 2008

Originally created in 1988, as a tribute to the co-founder of the house, the 2008 vintage spent ten years ageing in the Billecart-Salmon cellars - and is now finally ready to be unveiled as an elegant, fresh and truly sophisticated wine.

Elisabeth Salmon was a woman of great character. Independent and avant-garde, she fearlessly guided the house through its inception in 1818, and together with her husband, co-founder Nicolas François Billecart, she made the bold choice of pursuing her passion for the terroir in Champagne.

The 2008 vintage of the Elisabeth Salmon cuvée is the expression of the best terroirs for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Champagne and is a result of over a decade of patience.

A work of fine craftsmanship with complex, precise and meticulous composition, vinified in small vats to reveal the unique character of each parcel: cold fermentation in order to preserve the purity of the fruit, unparalleled expertise in red wine vinification, and for the first time ever, the integration of wines vinified in oak casks.

It’s a fascinating exercise to taste the wine alongside the house’s famous Brut Rosé NV. The NV, a blend of 40% Chardonnay, and 30% each of Pinots Noir and Meunier, is paler and more delicate in character, fresh but with a generous, pure red fruit character.

Pour the Elisabeth Salmon and the difference is immediately apparent. It’s a deeper hue, the fruit character is darker, and it’s altogether a more structured and mineral wine. It’s a different blend – no Pinot Meunier here, just 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay. And for the first time, 17% of the wine was vinified at a low temperature in oak barrels, which are 15 years old on average. 

2008 was a fresh year, explained Matthieu, and the oak was used to add extra complexity and richness. This is a Champagne that you could happily lay down for a decade or more, if you enjoy the tertiary characters that come with aged Champagne. Or just enjoy it in its youth.

Words by Amy Wislocki, Decanter Magazine Editor & Regional Editor (Champagne, Alsace and Loire)

Champagne Billecart-Salmon

Billecart-Salmon was first and foremost the result of a union. A union between Nicolas François Billecart and Elisabeth Salmon who, in 1818 and just married, founded their own Champagne house in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, a village near Epernay. At their side was Louis Salmon, Elisabeth's brother, a passionate oenologist. 

Today, Mathieu Roland-Billecart, the 7th generation of the family, heads the house. 

Two centuries have passed since the creation of Billecart-Salmon champagnes, yet its motto remains unchanged: "give priority to quality, strive for excellence".
 
Billecart-Salmon is known for its haute couture viticulture shaped by a passion for the Champagne terroir. Over 40 Champagne crus are selected from vineyards covering more than 300 hectares. Among them about 100 hectares belong to the house and its shareholders.

The house is certified as “sustainable viticulture in Champagne” for its winemaking and high environmental value.

The wines from Billecart-Salmon possess power and remarkable elegance thanks to vinification in oak which were reintroduced in 1996 and now represent a major component in the vinification process. 

In 1958 it developed a winemaking method that was revolutionary for the time – a longer, cooler fermentation, inspired by traditional beer brewers, followed by cold settling to make the wines fresher and more crystalline.

After the creation of a cellar containing more than 400 oak casks in 2010, the house unveiled its brand-new cellar in 2018 containing 24 large oak casks. 

Combined with vinification in steel tanks, the use of oak wood widens the range of aromas and achieves Champagne blends of greater complexity. 

Masterclass Hosts

Mathieu Roland-Billecart

Seventh generation Billecart family member Mathieu spent his childhood growing up in the Champagne region where he developed his passion and knowledge for wine and Champagne. 

He completed his studies and began his career in England where he spent 14 years in an international consulting firm. Even when Mathieu lived in London, he remained close to his Champagne roots and joined the supervisory board of Billecart-Salmon in 2013. He left England in 2017 to join the Billecart-Salmon management board to start a transition period alongside François Roland-Billecart, the 6th generation CEO. Mathieu took over from Francois as CEO of the house in January 2019.

He now fully leads the house with support from other family members including Antoine Roland-Billecart (Deputy General Manager for export), François Roland-Billecart (Chairman) and Jean Roland-Billecart (5th generation and honorary member of the Billecart-Salmon tasting committee).
 

Peter Liem

Peter Liem is an American wine writer and author of ChampagneGuide.net, an award-winning online guide to the wines and wine producers of Champagne. He was also the Regional Chair for Champagne at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2019.

Following nearly a decade in the wine trade, he was a senior editor, critic and tasting director for Wine & Spirits magazine. His writings on Champagne, Sherry and other wines have appeared in publications such as The World of Fine Wine, Decanter, The Art of Eating and The San Francisco Chronicle.

Peter also partnered with Daniel Johnnes of La Paulée de New York to create La Fête du Champagne, the largest Champagne event in the United States. His most recent book, Champagne, was published in October 2017 and was awarded a James Beard, André Simon Book Award and an IACP Book Award. Peter divides his time between New York City and Champagne.