Billecart-Salmon - Brut Champagne Réserve NV
Oldest continuously family-owned House, Billecart-Salmon was founded in 1818 by the marriage of Nicolas Francois Billecart and Elisabeth Salmon. For over two hundred years, the House has developed a renowned expertise in crafting fine, elegant and balanced Champagnes.
Billecart-Salmon was first and foremost the result a union between Nicolas François Billecart and Elisabeth Salmon who, in 1818 and just married, founded their own Champagne House in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, a small village near Epernay. At their side was Louis Salmon, Elisabeth’s brother and a passionate oenologist who, from the very beginning, dedicated himself to the development of the wines. From then on, their heirs have never stopped aiming for excellence in winemaking. Today led by seventh generation Mathieu Roland-Billecart, each family member has endeavored to pursue the family tradition and stay faithful to the same motto: "give priority to quality, strive for excellence."
Billecart-Salmon rigorously cultivates an estate of 100 hectares, sourcing grapes from an area totaling 300 hectares across 40 crus of the Champagne region.
The majority of the grapes used for vinification come from a radius of 20km around Epernay, where the Grand Crus of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay co-exist, in the vineyards of the Montagne de Reims, the Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Blancs.
As part of the quest to increase the quality of their champagnes, in the 1950s, the House introduced the technique of cold settling combined with the use of stainless steel tanks for a longer fermentation at a lower temperature. Vinification occurs primarily on small thermoregulated tanks which allows the House to vinify parcels separately, preserving nuances of expression of "terroir". Low temperature fermentation slows down the process, encouraging aromas to delicately develop and allow the purity of the fruit to be fully expressed; absolute signature of the Billecart-Salmon style: finesse, elegance and balance.
Over three years of ageing on lees in the chalk cellars for the non-vintage cuvees and over ten year for the prestige vintage cuvees, the family allows their wines to blossom. Giving the luxury of time to play its role is also behind the grandeur of Billecart-Salmon champagnes.
95 Pts Decanter - A fine straw-gold colour with great finesse of bubble flow and mousse. Joyful aromas of apple blossom and ripe pear. A full, defined palate demonstrates richness that will help to give this a long life in the cellar.
The tiny mousse tells a lot about the quality of this impressive Champagne. It is quite full in style, with flavors of white currants and a rich, but still bone-dry aftertaste. It is a perfect food Champagne, with structure and a good tension between richness and elegance.
The Billecart-Salmon NV Brut Réserve is a blend of 40% Pinot Meunier (sourced in the Vallée de la Marne and the Coteaux Sud d'Epernay), 30% Chardonnay (from different villages along the Marne) and 30% Pinot Noir (from the Montagne de Reims and the Grande Vallée de la Marne). The recent disgorgement from January 2018 is straw-yellow in color and based 40% on the 2015 harvest, with 60% of reserve wines. The result is a light and delicately fruity flavored cuvée with aromatic and spicy Pinot Meunier and redcurrant aromas intertwined with chalky expressions and notes of ripe pears and yeast. Round and fresh on the palate, this is a light, finessed, elegant, very delicate and harmoniously fruity Brut with a stunningly intense, persistent, well-structured and purely salty finish. Very stimulating as a soloist, aperitif or with lighter dishes.
A dry, chalky Champagne, with hints of biscuit, lemon curd and white peach. Medium-bodied, with a fresh finish. Drink now. ?AN —Alison Napjus,
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