Billecart Salmon Nicolas Francois 2002 Champagne Gift Boxed
98/100 Michael Edwards, The World of Fine Wine
98/100 James Suckling
96/100 Wine Enthusiast
95/100 Wine Spectator
94/100 Wine & Spirits Magazine
94/100 Antonio Galloni, Vinous
18.5/20 Gault & Millau
18.5/20 Vinum Wine Magazine
Michael Edwards, The World of Fine Wine "Always the finest wine of the house and particularly special in the ever-youthful 2002, which has so much in reserve that it should age gracefully to 2030 or beyond: one of the greatest wines of a great year. Latent power, density without heaviness, supremely elegant, all finesse. With the best roast turbot on the bone, you couldn’t wish for anything better."
James Suckling "A very composed Champagne with plenty of still fresh lemon and white cherry fruits on offer. There's impressive clarity, power and richness here. The nose has candied peach, strawberry, white cherry and grilled nuts. Very flavorsome palate with pastry flavors adding savory notes to the stone fruits and citrus. Toasted almonds and chalky minerals define the long finish. Still so young and powerful!"
Wine Spectator "There's a buoyant, almost ethereal quality to this elegant Champagne, offering a rich range of blackberry pâte de fruit, crystallized honey, grilled nut and oyster shell flavors, set on a fine, chalky mousse. Long and mouthwatering, with a clean, citrus-infused finish."
Jancis Robinson "Very pale. Sophisticated, very sleek, well balanced nose. A remarkably youthful 2002. Clean, brisk chalky palate with a finish that is just slightly sudden. Quite exciting."
Antonio Galloni "The 2002 Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart comes across as rich, powerful and opulent. This latest release of the 2002 was disgorged in July 2015 and finished with a Chardonnay-based liqueur whereas the previous release, disgorged in May 2014, was finished with a Pinot Noir-based liqueur. This is a distinctly vinous, almost shockingly raw, visceral Champagne from Billecart-Salmon. There is no shortage of volume or intensity, that is for sure. Stylistically, this year's release inhabits a whole other world relative to last year's release."
Billecart-Salmon is one of the few remaining Champagne houses to be owned by the original family and was established in 1818 by Nicolas-François Billecart. Most of Billecart-Salmon's fruit comes from a small vineyard holding, though this is supplemented with grapes bought in from the Marne Valley and the Montagne de Reims. Meticulous production techniques, from the use of their own cultured yeast to its long, slow, cool fermentation, ensure that the family has 100 percent control of production.