Billecart-Salmon’s bicentenary celebrations continue into the second half of 2018, with the limited release of the Bicentenary Cuvée, launched at the anniversary garden party at the House in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ in June. Alongside the Founders’ Cuvées, this wine is another example of the elegant and lingering, yet powerful, style of Champagne for which Billecart-Salmon is famous.
Guests were also treated to the official opening of Billecart-Salmon’s new cellar, the ‘Chai’, which houses 24 (80hl) foudres including the components of the Founders’ Cuvées: Cuvée Nicolas François, Cuvée Elisabeth Salmon (Rosé) and Cuvée Louis (Blanc de Blancs), as well as the prestige cuvée Clos Saint-Hilaire. This particular Champagne is only produced in exceptional years from Billecart-Salmon’s walled one-hectare vineyard of the same name (still ploughed by draught-horse) and managed, like all the vineyards, sustainably and with the future of the House and the region, always in mind.
The opening of the Chai and the release of the Bicentenary Cuvée mark the founding year of the company and with only 1818 magnums released across the globe, most have already been sold to collectors and fine wine independent retailers. This Champagne, specially created for this anniversary, is a blend of eight Grand Crus from the Montagne de Reims and the Côte des Blancs, is Pinot Noir dominant (92%) and is made up of a blend of exceptional wines from four different vintages.
Mathieu Roland-Billecart, COO and 7th generation family member, explains “The 200th anniversary of the House of Billecart-Salmon is an incredibly important milestone for our family, as we not only remain fiercely independent, but we also aim to achieve excellence in everything we produce. Our wines all encapsulate a particular element of our history, with Cuvée Nicolas François and Cuvée Elisabeth in recognition of the union of two families who created our House as we know it today. During the research for the recently released book “Billecart-Salmon, Two Centuries of Adventure”, written to commemorate the anniversary, we discovered that Louis, Elisabeth’s brother, was hugely important to the early success of Billecart-Salmon and as such this year, we renamed our Blanc de Blancs vintage in his honour: the Cuvée Louis. The Bicentenary Cuvée is one of the hardest cuvées we’ve had to create as we are capturing not only the essence and finesse of Billecart-Salmon, but also with the structure specifically designed to age exceptionally well, befitting such a Champagne.”
Billecart-Salmon’s limited edition Bicentenary Cuvée is available in magnum from approximately £1400.