Billecart-Salmon Cuvee Nicolas Francois Brut 2006
A lovely color of sparkling yellow gold veiled in luminous golden reflections. Fine malted notes associated with orchard fruit (white peach, nectarine, Lorraine plum) refined by the purity of the complex mandarin zest aromas. There is a balanced tension controlled by the blossoming of the wine (seeded and stone fruit, citrus fruit, warm madeleines) and embodied by the line of noble resinous flavors (spruce and juniper berries from Houlle). It will expose the flavors of a beautiful creamy, roasted poultry or a delicious slice delicious turbot in a creamy sauce.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Associated with luxury, celebration, and romance, the region, Champagne, is home to the world’s most prized sparkling wine. In order to bear the label, ‘Champagne’, a sparkling wine must originate from this northeastern region of France—called Champagne—and adhere to strict quality standards. Made up of the three towns Reims, Épernay, and Aÿ, it was here that the traditional method of sparkling wine production was both invented and perfected, birthing a winemaking technique as well as a flavor profile that is now emulated worldwide.
Well-drained, limestone and chalky soil defines much of the region, which lend a mineral component to its wines. Champagne’s cold, continental climate promotes ample acidity in its grapes but weather differences from year to year can create significant variation between vintages. While vintage Champagnes are produced in exceptional years, non-vintage cuvées are produced annually from a blend of several years in order to produce Champagnes that maintain a consistent house style.
With nearly negligible exceptions, . These can be blended together or bottled as individual varietal Champagnes, depending on the final style of wine desired. Chardonnay, the only white variety, contributes freshness, elegance, lively acidity and notes of citrus, orchard fruit and white flowers. Pinot Noir and its relative Pinot Meunier, provide the backbone to many blends, adding structure, body and supple red fruit flavors. Wines with a large proportion of Pinot Meunier will be ready to drink earlier, while Pinot Noir contributes to longevity. Whether it is white or rosé, most Champagne is made from a blend of red and white grapes—and uniquely, rosé is often produce by blending together red and white wine. A Champagne made exclusively from Chardonnay will be labeled as ‘blanc de blancs,’ while ones comprised of only red grapes are called ‘blanc de noirs.’
Representing the topmost expression of a Champagne house, a vintage Champagne is one made from the produce of a single, superior harvest year. Vintage Champagnes account for a mere 5% of total Champagne production and are produced about three times in a decade. Champagne is typically made as a blend of multiple years in order to preserve the house style; these will have non-vintage, or simply, NV on the label. The term, "vintage," as it applies to all wine, simply means a single harvest year.