2002 Billecart-Salmon Cuvee Nicolas Francois Billecart Brut 1.5 L

Year: 2002
Appellation: Champagne
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 95
Wine Advocate: 97
Vinous Media: 97
James Suckling: 98
Wine Enthusiast: 96
Sparkling Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 12.5%
Price :
$399.95

2016 James Suckling Top 100: #82

"There's a buoyant, almost ethereal quality to this elegant Champagne, offering a rich range of blackberry pâte de fruit, crystallized honey, grilled nut and oyster shell flavors, set on a fine, chalky mousse. Long and mouthwatering, with a clean, citrus-infused finish. Drink now through 2027. 1,500 cases imported. -AN" (WS)

"The 2002 Brut Cuvée Nicolas François was disgorged in January 2015 with four grams per liter dosage, and it's showing superbly, wafting from the glass with a complex bouquet that mingles confit citrus, peach and dried papaya with nuances of iodine, brioche and honeycomb. On the palate, it's full-bodied, broad and vinous, with a rich and layered core that's underpinned by serious structure and tension, concluding with a long and precise finish. This is one of the finest wines Billecart has released in the last decade, and it is well worth seeking out.

Billecart-Salmon is discreetly but significantly evolving. Since 2010, a new cellar has housed some 400 barrels for vinification and élevage, and since 2018, another cellar is home to oak foudres retaining some 80,000 liters of reserve wine. Meanwhile, Billecart's wines are spending longer and longer sur lattes, and fruit sourcing is changing—with more grand cru fruit replacing premier cru fruit—while volumes remain the same. Based on the trials underway in their emblematic Clos Saint-Hilaire, the next frontier will be the vineyards. This visit and tasting with Mathieu Roland-Billecart and chef des caves Florent Nys underscored the impact of these quiet but important changes, and it's clear that this is a house that's going from strength to strength. I'll be reporting on Billecart-Salmon in greater depth in the future, but for now, all these recent releases come warmly recommended." (WA)

"A mesmerizing, thrilling Champagne, the 2002 Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart is a great example of the vintage at its best. Silky and racy on the palate, yet a bit more restrained than many wines of the year, the Nicolas François Billecart remains vivid and remarkably nuanced. Brioche. apricot jam, wild flowers and honey are some of the many notes that blossom as the Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart shows off its voluptuous personality. The 2002 is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay." (VM)

"Very impressive depth and detail here. The freshness is staggering. Citrus and grilled-hazelnut aromas lead to a palate that has a very concentrated, slightly creamy and taut feel. Super long and dense with lemon curd, white peaches and a toasty build to the finish. Superb! Drink or hold. " (JS)

"With its ripe fruits, rich texture and layers of toast, this is a great wine. It shows the quality of the great 2002 vintage brilliantly. It's complex and concentrated with an array of mature fruit flavors that combine to a structured whole. It will improve with age, so drink this great Champagne through 2025 and perhaps longer." (WE)