Grape(s): Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier
Localization: Côte des Blancs, Champagne, France
Tasting Notes: A radiant yellow crystalline appearance with golden glints brought to life by a luminous bead of persistent fine bubbles. There is an olfactory impact due to the richness of harmonious expressions (dry fruits, fresh citrus, and white fruits) coupled with finely buttered seductive notes. A defined aromatic undertone which expresses the mature complexity linked to the vinification in oak barrels.
The caressing and refreshing texture enhance the creamy sensation, dominated by a beautiful bracing vivacity. A burst of flavours (notes of grilled brioche, toffee) thanks to the distinguished power and maturity which is a mark of the great wines of Champagne.
94 points James Suckling: A dense Champagne with a tight and linear structure. Compressed and very pretty. Hints of nuts and cream with some pie crust. Some nougat, too. Very long and flavorful. It’s one for a meal. One third of pinot meunier, pinot noir and chardonnay. Fermented and aged in barrel for about six months. Disgorged July 19, 2020. It’s aged six years on lees. Drink or hold.
Food pairing: Its strength of character and integrity make it an ideal accompaniment to poultry dishes or Girolle mushrooms.
The Domain: 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 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 the 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 aging on lees in the chalk cellars for the non-vintage cuvees and over ten years 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.