Back in August 2008, the Champenois were not sanguine about the season. The spring was frosty. Then it hailed. July was chilly and wet. A cold August didn’t offer much help—but hey, at least it was dry.
Then came a glorious September. The sun emerged, raising temperatures but remaining mild enough to stretch the ripening period until early October. Winemakers stood agape at the beautiful and unhurried harvest. The season’s dismal start became a distant memory, and as the work shifted to the cellar, the buzz began to build that ‘08 might turn out to be one of the greatest vintages Champagne had ever seen.
When it came time to judge, Wine Advocate settled on 99 points—a number that no vintage before or after has ever earned. Decanter dubbed it a “miracle year”—and Billecart-Salmon’s Cuvee Louis Salmon Blanc de Blancs is one of its triumphs.
Disgorged in late 2020, this is a bottle that stands with the best of the vintage. It earned 96 points from James Suckling and 95 from Antonio Galloni of Vinous, who called it an “affordable option to some of the super high flyers in this celebrated vintage.” He’s referring to wines like Dom, Selosse, and Salon, which go for $500 and up.
At Billecart-Salmon, vintage Champagnes like the 2008 are rested for a minimum of a decade before release, allowing for intense, finely delineated flavor development. It’s patient, studied artistry in a bottle.
After 200 years of operation, the house is still owned and operated by the Billecart family—and still producing the exquisite bubblies that have seduced countless wine lovers throughout the years.