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2008 Champagne Billecart-Salmon “Cuvee Nicolas Francois Billecart” Brut

Champagne Billecart-Salmon was founded in 1818 when Nicolas François Billecart and Elisabeth Salmon were married. The Maison was established in the family’s hometown of Mareuil-sur-Aÿ. Seven generations of the family have been engaged with the management of this house. Mathieu Roland-Billecart is the current director. Charles Roland-Billecart, initiated a revolution in quality in 1958 by introducing longer fermentations at lower temperatures and cold settling in the vinification tanks. By 2018, new cellars had been built with the addition of 24 large oak casks.

This exceptional cuvée was crafted in 1964 as a tribute to the House’s founder. This Champagne is a blend of Chardonnay Grands Crus vineyards in the Côte des Blancs vineyards and Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims The Cuvée Nicolas-Francois Billecart 1959 won first place in the Champagne of the Millennium 1999. This cuvee is only made in superior vintages and is a blend of 60% Pinot Noir (from Aÿ, Mareuil and Verzenay) and 40% Chardonnay from Mesnil, Chouilly and Cramant. It was disgorged in 2022.

This richly textured and exuberant Champagne has a finely detailed mousse. The aromas express lightly crusted bread and slivered hazelnuts. It remains medium to full bodied in character with candied lemon peel, honeycomb, and marzipan along with a background of crushed stones. There is plenty of penetrating tension here with a backbone of fresh acidity that keeps all the elements together as it glides to lengthy finish.

By W Peter Hoyne

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