Billecart-Salmon Cuvée Elisabeth Salmon Brut Rosé

Simultaneously capturing euphoric freshness, refined elegance and exacting fruit definition is one of the finest skills of Champagne’s winemakers, and nowhere is this more challenging than in the tightrope balance of long-aged rosé. In the sublime 2002 season, Billecart has achieved the seemingly impossible and conjured a rosé both larger and lighter than life. True to her name, Elisabeth Salmon radiates a gorgeous, ethereal, pale-salmon hue. In a display of intricately coiled, ultra-pristine detail, dainty red cherry, crunchy pomegranate, lifted rose petal and wild strawberry fruit burst forth in clear peals like church bells, dissolving into vapour-like lightness. Nuances of struck flint, cherry kernel, even a wisp of fresh coffee bean and dark chocolate, cascade into a marvellous flow of crunchy white cherry definition, charged with a core of tightly clenched, energetically coiled acidity. Mineral presence is a marvel, chalk-dust fine and magnificently intertwined with the most sophisticated fruit. A breathtaking rosé of the utmost finesse and character, projecting a fruit presence and unbroken line of mesmerising persistence. Elisabeth Salmon 2002 is not only one of the finest rosé champagnes this year, it ranks high among the greatest of the modern era. $260 at WineStar.