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Champagne Wines

Champagne Wines

Champagne Wines

Champagne Wines

"The sharp, biting acidity, cutting through the richness; the explosive force that shatters the bubbles as they rise to the surface; the intense flavor and compelling, lively mouthfeel; these are all hallmarks of a good Champagne. Most wines are made from a combination of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, but there are pure-Chardonnay variants and ones that blend only Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. As a result, most wines come with a feeling of familiarity, if not nostalgia. Each Champagne house has its own unique style, so different bottles of Champagne may not resemble each other outside of the core varietal strengths. The soil composition of the subregion is characterized by belemnite and chalk, which lets it absorb heat during the daytime and release it at night. This terroir helps create the feeling of airy, playful lightness of fine sparkling wine.

These wines were originally marketed towards royalty, and you can feel a hint of that elusive blue-blood elegance and confidence while drinking one. A good Champagne carries you away like a hurricane carries small debris, and you can feel the powerful life force in each bubble even. The characteristic Champagne “pop” has become a staple at parties and celebrations around the globe – when you hear it, good times are right around the corner."
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2006 billecart salmon cuvee nicolas francois vintage brut Champagne

Created in 1964 as a tribute to the house’s founder, the youngest release is the 2006 Millésime Brut Cuvée Nicolas François, a blend of 60% Pinot Noir from premier and grand crus from the Montagne de Reims and the Grande Vallée de la Marne and 40% Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs. Almost entirely fermented in stainless steel (only 5% was vinified in oak barrels) and aged for 11 years on the lees, this is a beautifully ripe and rich yet pure champagne with ripe fruit flavors intermixed with chalky notes and brioche/nougat flavors. The palate is intense and concentrated in its rich fruit and substantial depth but also tight, highly elegant and perfectly balanced. The typical finesse of Billecart-Salmon is palatable as well as amazingly pure, with the persistent structure of a great Champagne. The 2006 already drinks dangerously well, but there is no need to hurry, this will go a long way.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPThe 2006 Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine, but it needs time to be at its best. I am surprised by how tightly wound it is. But that only makes me think what it might develop into with time in the cellar. Lemon confit, white flowers, mint, crushed rocks and sage meld together in a bright, crystalline Champagne endowed with terrific purity. The 2006 is 60% Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims and the Vallée de la Marne and 40% Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs, mostly done in steel, with just a touch of oak, around 5%. Dosage is 6 grams per liter.Vinous Media | 97 VMThis wine has always been a blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay since its inception in 1964, honouring the house's co-founder. Like the other founder's cuvées, 5% of the wine is vinified in old oak barrels and it then spends 11 years on its lees with partial malolactic fermentation. It has a beautiful mousse and fine, fast-streaming bubbles, and is very tight and reserved at first, opening in the glass to reveal refined sous bois, pastry, tart red apple, rich yellow plum and lifted floral notes. Elegant, complex, long and zesty, it's still very young with its full potential yet to show.Decanter | 96 DECA rounded vintage, with very attractive white peach, apricot and nectarine fruits as well as lemon and yellow grapefruit, dried flowers, orange rind and some clotted cream. The palate has an assertive, sturdy and punchy feel to it. Bright acidity that's lime sorbet-like. Good length and plenty of fresh stone fruit flavors. Fleshy and lively. Drink this now.James Suckling | 96 JSNamed 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.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WEFine 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.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

97
VM
As low as $179.00
2009 Billecart Salmon Cuvee Louis Salmon Brut Blanc de Blancs

The 2009 Champagne Blanc De Blancs Louis Salmon Brut comes from Mesnil, Cramant and Chouilly and was all fermented in stainless steel tank. Since 2009 was a warmer vintage, they did not use wood, as they were looking to preserve the freshness of the wine. A seductive wine that’s almost identical in appearance to the 2017 Blanc de Blancs, this 2009 jumps from the glass with a buoyant personality in its perfume of lemon custard, honeysuckle, fresh brioche, a hint of almond, and juicy pear. Full-bodied, its wonderfully rich texture coats the palate with citrus oils, and it has a finish that won’t quit. It balances its warmth and solar feel with a lovely embrace and retains a powerful yet balanced finish. Drink 2024-2040. 3.8 grams per liter dosage.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JDThe 2009 Brut Blancs de Blancs Louis Salmon is a rich, heady wine. In 2009, Billecart-Salmon opted not to use lots aged in oak, which, along with partially blocked malolactic fermentation, helps explain the wine’s freshness and verve. Lemon peel, white flowers, white pepper and chalk are all beautifully delineated. There’s gorgeous density and power here, along with a good bit of vintage 2009 radiance. What a gorgeous Champagne this is. The Louis Salmon is a blend from Mesnil-sur-Oger, Chouilly and Cramant. Dosage is 3.75 grams per liter. Disgorged: second trimester 2022.Vinous Media | 96 VMThis is showing an array of almonds, frangipani, dried lemons, apricots, pastries and white chocolate, evolving to salted caramel. Fantastic complexity and all in balance, with firm focus yet open and delicious. Creamy, very fine bubbles. Salty, turning chalky and mineral at the end. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 96 JSDisgorged during the second quarter of 2022 with a dosage of 3.75 grams per liter, the 2009 Brut Blanc de Blancs Cuvée Louis Salmon reveals aromas of pear, lemon oil, mandarin oil, white pepper, pastry and almonds. Medium to full-bodied, chiseled and long, it has a crystalline yet vinous texture with a fresh, salty finish. It is a quintessential representation of Billecart’s style, characterized by racy acids and a lively palate. It derives from Chardonnay grapes sourced from the villages of Mesnil-sur-Oger, Chouilly and Cramant and was aged exclusively in steel tanks.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPChardonnay from Grand Cru vineyards in the Côte des Blancs presents its mineral texture and impressively fresh white fruits. Its taut character gives the Champagne a nervy character that helps keep its surprising youthfulness. Drink now.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WEFreshness and finesse define the Louis Salmon Brut Blanc de Blancs 2009 Grand Cru from the Côte des Blancs, a cuvée that pays homage to the first Chef de Cave at Billecart-Salmon. Cold fermented in stainless steel and aged on fine lees until the third quarter of 2022, it was finished Extra Brut with a 3.75 grams per liter dosage. Expressive and alluring aromas of citrus confit, pear tart, freshly baked brioche, clover honey and a whiff of verbena blossoms open onto a light to medium-bodied, creamy palate brimming with ripe citrus and stone fruits that are amplified by exhilarating acid tension, perceptible salinity and a lengthy finish with a chalky grip. Lot: L84146The Wine Independent | 95+ TWIA vivid Champagne, with a fine mouse acting as a creamy swath around well-honed acidity, which defines this wine and carries flavors of poached apricot and ripe green apple, toast point and roasted nuts, preserved lemon and saffron. Salt-tinged finish. Disgorged summer 2022. Drink now through 2029.Wine Spectator | 93 WSNo written review provided. | 93 W&S

97
JD
As low as $215.00
2012 Billecart Salmon Cuvee Louis Salmon Brut Blanc de Blancs

The 2012 Brut Blancs de Blancs Louis Salmon is a gorgeous Champagne. Lemon confit, spice, baked apple tart, chamomile and dried flowers are all nicely amplified. The 2012 was done 75% in tank and 25% in oak, with most of the lots undergoing malolactic fermentation. There’s a feeling of reserve in the 2012 that is quite appealing. This edition is terrific, but it also needs time to be at its best. I would be in no rush to open this. Low yields and a year beset by frost, hail, heavy rain, mildew and sunburn at various times produced a rich Champagne. The blend of sites in Mesnil-sur-Oger, Chouilly, Cramant and Oiry works so well. Dosage is 3.9 grams per liter. Disgorged: first trimester 2023.Vinous Media | 97 VMTasted from magnum. Alongside the main release in 75cl, a limited number of magnums of 2012 Louis Salmon have been released simultaneously. Aged under cork during its second fermentation, these reframe the 2012’s already expressive aromatics in explosive charry, flinty energy and an extra degree of fluid freshness on the palate, representing an irresistible supercharging of the beautifully ripe lemon syrup, apricot and sweet spice flavours present in this fine release, nimble and transparent with a beautifully precise palate unmarked by dosage or some of the heavier, more concentrated fruit the year can bring. 60% from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, with the remainder from Cramant, Chouilly and Oiry, with 25% barrel fermentation and 115 months on lees. Dosage 3.9g/L.Decanter | 96 DECPrecise and sensual blanc de blancs with notes of pie crust, grapefruit, white peaches, chalk and hazelnuts. Driven, mouth-watering and with fantastic structure, yet it’s so balanced and creamy. Very fine and silky bubbles. 3.9g/L dosage. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 96 JS

97
VM
As low as $215.00
2012 Billecart Salmon Elisabeth Salmon Brut Rose

This has a lovely copper color with aromas of cloves, spiced apples, raspberries, gingerbread and pastries. Delicious yeasty and spicy undertones. Excellent density and focus, with fine and firm bubbles, yet it’s light on its feet and so fresh. Long, chalky and salty at the end. Chardonnay and pinot noir. 3.8g/L dosage. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 97 JSThe 2012 Brut Rosé Cuvée Elizabeth Salmon offers up hints of red berry fruit, ginger, spice, rosewater, mint and crushed flowers. There is a feeling of classic austerity that runs through the 2012. I would prefer to cellar this for at least a few years, as it is quite reticent at this stage. Chalk, mint, white pepper and bright saline accents linger on the pointed finish. Dosage is 3.8 grams per liter. Disgorged: first trimester 2023.Vinous Media | 96 VMElisabeth Salmon 2012 shows all the signs of being a true classic for Billecart-Salmon, beautifully balanced between the most alluring Pinot aromatics – black cherry juice, peach melba and fresh raspberry – and an engine of pure, persistent Chardonnay energy of bright clementine and zesty length, all lifted with subtle details of allspice, rose petal and nougat and delivered on an effortlessly silky mousse. Open for business, yet without the showiness that the wines of this vintage can sometimes display, it’s a rosé of assured refinement and quiet intensity that seems set for a long future. 55% Chardonnay from Chouilly, Avize, Cramant and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger with 45% Pinot Noir from Mareuil-sur-Aÿ and Ambonnay, with 8.3% red wine addition from Mareuil-sur-Aÿ. 2.9% fermented in barrel, and released after 115 months on lees with a dosage of 3.8g/L.Decanter | 95 DEC

96
VM
As low as $215.00
n/v billecart salmon rose Champagne

The NV Champagne Brut Rose is an attractive pale salmon hue, with a fresh perfume of wild strawberry, ripe peach, white and red flowers, a hint of tropical fruit, and grapefruit. The palate is rounded, with fruit up front and through the mid-palate, and it has a silky and fresh lift. There is a wonderful ease and drinkability to this wine, which delivers balance and finesse. Drink 2022-2037.Jeb Dunnuck | 94 JDA lovely rosé in an almost vinous style, with mouthwatering acidity and a fine, lacy mousse carrying appealing flavors of ripe raspberry, white cherry fruit, star anise, mandarin orange peel and honeysuckle. Lightly chalky on the lasting finish. Enjoy with food. Drink now through 2020.Wine Spectator | 93 WSAttractive salmon color with aromas of dried strawberries and lemons, as well as hints of flowers. Full-bodied with tight tension from the fine phenolics that run through the palate. Hints of white pepper, peaches and sliced green strawberries with some candied lemons, too. Always an excellent bottle. 40% chardonnay, 30% pinot noir and 30% pinot meunier. Drink now.James Suckling | 93 JSWe started with a demi-bouteille of Billecart-Salmon Rosé: a safe option, but it does the job, even though I would say that a full bottle is better.Vinous Media | 92 VM(NV Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé NV (Disgorged September 2013)) Billecart-Salmon is probably most famous for their excellent bottling of non-vintage Brut Rosé, and the new bottling is another superb wine. The cépages is comprised of forty percent chardonnay, twenty percent pinot meunier and thirty-five percent pinot noir, with eight percent of the pinot noir included as still wine to give this wine its lovely, pale salmon color. The dosage is slightly higher here, but still judicious at nine grams per liter. The bouquet is pure and vibrant, wafting from the glass in a mix of tangerine, almonds, smoke, lovely minerality, wheat toast and dried flowers. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and very focused, with a fine core, racy, zesty acids and great cut and grip on the long and beautifully balanced finish. (Drink between 2014-2025)John Gilman | 92 JGThe palest of rosés, this is an elegant, structured wine. Its dryness is balanced by the fine apple and red-currant fruits and the strong sense of minerality. Fragrant and lightly structured, this fine bottling is ready to drink. Wine Enthusiast | 92 WEBased on the 2018 vintage, Billecart’s new NV Brut Rosé incorporates 40% reserve wines and some 6% still red wine. Bursting with scents of sweet red berries, peonies, stone fruits, white cherries, freshly baked bread and spices, it’s medium to full-bodied, pillowy and charming, with a seamless and enveloping core of fruit and a lively, fine-boned profile.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 91 RPCurrently based on the 2016 harvest, this is floral and citrussy, showing a lithe, graceful balance. It’s a blend of 40% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir and 30% Meunier, with about 40% of reserve wine, and red wine accounts for 7% of the blend. Its delicate, subtly expansive flavours of raspberry and strawberry are enlivened by a tangerine-like acidity, and while it feels ripe and full in flavour on the palate, it never loses its sense of refinement and poise, finishing with detailed length and depth. (Drink between 2021-2026)Decanter | 91 DEC

94
JD
As low as $89.99
n/v billecart salmon brut reserve Champagne

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.Decanter | 95 DEC(NV Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve NV (2008 Release)) This particular bottle of Brut Réserve had been in my cellar since 2008, and it has aged beautifully and was drinking very well when opened this past spring. The excellent nose wafts from the glass in a mélange of apple, peach, warm bread, a touch of ginger, a lovely base of soil and plenty of upper register smokiness. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bdoied, complex and still rock solid at the core, with fine mousse, bright acids and lovely length and grip on the wide open, complex and classy finish. This particular release of Brut Réserve had been particularly steely out of the blocks, which is why I tucked some away to see how it evolved with bottle age. Yet again, a pretty strong argument for treating non-vintage Brut bottlings like other fine wines and cellar them for some time before starting to drink them! (Drink between 2014-2025).John Gilman | 92 JGA harmonious Champagne that’s satiny in texture, framing flavors of Asian pear, star fruit, pastry and honey with mouthwatering acidity. Offers a fine and creamy finish. Drink now through 2021.Wine Spectator | 91 WSPlenty 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.James Suckling | 91 JSBased 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.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 90 RP(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.Vinous Media | 90 VMThis producer’s nonvintage cuvée showcases a blend of grapes from all the regions of Champagne. Rich with white stone fruit, it balances ripe acidity and a taut texture. This complex wine is ready to drink.Wine Enthusiast | 90 WE

95
DEC
As low as $59.99
n/v billecart salmon blanc de blancs grand cru Champagne
93
JS
As low as $89.99

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