2006 Billecart-Salmon Cuvee Nicolas Francois Billecart Brut

Year: 2006
Appellation: Champagne
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 94
Wine Advocate: 95
James Suckling: 94
Wine Enthusiast: 95
Sparkling Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 12.5%

Pre-Order
DUE IN: FALL 2019

Price :
$129.95

"Fine and creamy, this harmonious Champagne layers a firm backbone of bright acidity with a lovely range of orange pâte de fruit, marzipan, lime blossom and toasted brioche notes. Tightly meshed and racy, with a long, lightly spiced finish. Drink now through 2030. -AN" (WS)

"The 2006 Brut Cuvée Nicolas François is showing superbly, bursting with aromas of warm bread, citrus oil, wild berries, smoke and gingerbread. On the palate, it's full-bodied, broad and voluminous, with a concentrated and fleshy core, chalky dry extract and lively acids despite the vintage, concluding with a saline finish. It was disgorged in April 2018 with 5.5 grams per liter dosage, and it's the usual blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, derived from Verzenay, Ambonnay, Ay and Mareuil-sur-Ay, as well as the Grands Crus of the Côte de Blancs, emphasizing Mesnil.

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)

"Fresh honey and bright poached apples with dried flowers, cherry pastry and richness that flows to the palate. A ripe array of white peaches, baked cherry pastry and a complex, smooth fleshy build in texture. White peaches and brioche to close. Drinking well now, but it will deliver plenty in the next decade on cork." (JS)

"Named after the founder of the house, Nicolas François Billecart (who married Elisabeth Salmon), this wine is now at its peak. It is poised between fresh apple fruits and broader, riper maturity. This balance gives a ripe wine hinting at toast and almonds while still with a dry aftertaste. Drink now, although in 2019 it will be even better." (WE)