N.V. Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve

Year: N.V.
Appellation: Champagne
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 91
Wine Advocate: 90
Vinous Media: 90
James Suckling: 91
Sparkling Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 12.0%
Price :
$46.95

"Aromatic and spicy, with cedar, honey and ginger notes matching a firm structure and lean, intense character. Fine length. Drink now." (WS)

"Based on the 2015 vintage and disgorged with nine grams per liter dosage, the latest release of Billecart's NV Brut Réserve contains fully 55% reserve wines and is showing very well, offering up complex aromas of warm bread, crisp green orchard fruit and citrus oil. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied and charming but lively, with an elegantly textural attack, a fleshy core of fruit and lively balancing acids.

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)

"($45) (40% pinot meunier, 30% pinot noir and 30% chardonnay; L200352): Light, bright gold. Fresh red berries, orange zest and white flowers on the perfumed nose. Juicy and precise, offering energetic redcurrant and blood orange flavors that show good concentration and a supple texture. A mineral nuance adds bite to the finish, with the floral note echoing." (VM)

"Plenty of ripe strawberries and wild raspberries on the nose here. Really attractive and vibrant in the mouth with fresh wild strawberries. It also shows a fleshy, fresh-fruit texture. Drink now." (JS)

Winery Notes:
HARMONY AND BALANCE:... a result of the ageing process in our traditional cellars. Elegant aromas, a full, vinous palate, followed by a lovely freshness, for a cuvee which is right for every occasion in life…

COMPOSITION:
The BILLECART-SALMON Brut Réserve is a round, harmonious and balanced champagne. Its blend has remained unchanged since 1945 : grapes from three different years - Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, from the best sites of the Marne.

APPEARANCE:
This cuvée, with reflections of straw yellow, stands out by the finesse of its slowly rising bubbles and its persistent mousse.

AROMA:
Maturity touched with floral freshness for this cuvée that breathes aromas of ripe pears.

PALATE:
A full, vinous attack followed by a fine freshness and a rich bouquet bear witness to the ageing of this cuvée in the House’s traditional cellars.

SERVING:
The BILLECART-SALMON Brut Réserve is your partner throughout the day. It can be consumed with a wide variety of dishes on all kinds of occasions. It should be served at 8° C and can be laid down for up to 10 years in an appropriate cellar.

Champagne Billecart-Salmon was founded in 1818, with the marriage of Nicholas Francois Billecart and Elisabeth Salmon, and is run today by their descendent, Francois Rolland-Billecart. The firm owns 74 acres of its own vines, and buys in grapes from another 346 acres as well. Ninety percent of the fruit comes from within a 20-mile radius of Epernay, with some 35 crus contributing. Several cuvées are made: NV Brut Réserve (Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir, the blend having remained unchanged since 1945); NV Brut Rosé (Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir, with a small amount of the latter vinified as red wine); NV Brut Blanc de Blancs (100% Chardonnay blended from two different years and sourced from five Cote de Blancs crus: Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oger); NV Demi-Sec (the same wine as the NV Brut Reserve, but with a higher dosage); Vintage Cuvée Nicholas Francois Billecart (first made in 1964, this is a blend of Chardonnay grands crus from the Cote des Blancs and Pinot Noir grands crus from the Montagne de Reims); Vintage Cuvee Elizabeth Salmon Rosé (first made in 1988, this is a 50/50 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vinified as white wine to which has been added a small amount of Mareuil-sur-Ay Pinot Noir vinified as red); Vintage Grande Cuvée (first made in 1982, this blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from select grands crus sites is aged 10 years in the Billecart cellars).