98 Points Tyson Stelzer
The electrifying energy of 2008 charges Billecart-Salmon Cuvée Elisabeth Salmon with a dynamism and an endurance like never before. To capture such precision and such concentration of pure red cherry and raspberry fruit and yet at every instant to remain steadfast to the elegance and refinement that is Billecart is the profound juxtaposition that elevates 2008 to dizzying heights. Testimony to the depth of south-facing Mareuil pinot noir even in a season as cool as 2008, just 9% red wine is all it takes to infuse a pretty, medium salmon hue that has taken on a copper tint in time. It confidently takes 13 years in its stride, revealed only in the most subtle nuances of vanilla and marzipan. With time in the glass, it billows to incredible heights of spice and even suggestions of fruit mince spice. A little fermentation in old oak barrels builds texture and integration more than it does a subtle nuance of jamon. Partial malolactic fermentation in a season with malic acidity as pronounced as 2008 is a nail-biting affair, perfectly played by chef de cave Florent Nys. Radiant acidity spirals with minerality as fine as ground glass to build a shimmering jetstream that slices through a finish of endless blue daylight. It is dashing from the outset, yet possesses decades of potential coiled into its graceful yet commanding folds.
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
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.