Billecart-Salmon ‘Louis Salmon’ Blanc de Blancs 2008

While taking part in the Decanter Awards recently the judges were invited for a special preview tasting of Billecart-Salmon’s ‘Louis Salmon’ Blanc de Blancs 2008; after a full day of tannins, the exquisite Champagne was pure balm. While certainly more famous for their rosé Champagnes, the blanc de blancs is part of the founder series of the house. Named after co-founder Louis Salmon (the pink is in tribute to Elisabeth Salmon). The Louis Salmon is a blend of the four grands crus in the Côte de Blancs, Chouilly, Cramant, Avize and Le Mesnil. One third of the base wine was fermented in barrel; the wine then underwent partial malo and was disgorged in May 2021 after 11 years of lees ageing.  Immediately fragrant, savoury-caramel, golden baking apples, hints of cinnamon and clove; a lift of lime zest and lemongrass freshness as the wine continues to open in the glass, never-ending really. The palate is piercing, long and concentrated. A creamy almost transparent mousse wraps around fresh stone fruit and citrus, with that salted caramel undertow; a sense of flaky buttery pastries, well integrated leesy complexity, travels well along a polished mineral backbone. Steel and opulence. (98) ML