Billecart Salmon Brut Nature Champagne ~ Champagne, France
This is great……and here’s why!94/100 James Suckling
93/100 Wine Enthusiast
93/100 Wilfred Wong
92/100 Stephen Tanzer
92/100 Natalie MacLean
91/100 Wine Advocate
90/100 Wine Spectator
17.5/20 Matthew Jukes
16/20 Jancis Robinson
16/20 La Revue du Vin de France
James Suckling "...Fantastic release...A dense, layered Champagne with a full body and lots of creamy texture. Lovely cooked apple and pie crust. 40% pinot meunier, 30% chardonnay and 30% pinot noir. The base was 2015, but in total it contains 10 harvests. It was bottled at the beginning of 2016 and disgorged in March 2020. Four years on lees. "
Wine Enthusiast "A sophisticated wine (a blend of the three Champagne grapes), this is a new release from this producer. It is dry, but the ripeness of the fruit offers a fine balance with the crisp, green-apple texture."
Wine Spectator "Firm and toasty, this tightly knit example features grilled nut and smoke accents that lace the crunchy pear and lemon curd flavors. Drink now."
Natalie MacLean "A crisp, dry, elegant Champagne from one of the region's (Champagne's) most respected producers. Notes of green apple and lime with a toasted bread finish. Pair with shellfish."
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate "Unwinding in the glass to reveal aromas of iodine, oyster shells, citrus oil and freshly baked bread, it's medium to full-bodied, racy and precise, with a taut, incisive profile and a mouthwatering finish. This is certainly dry, but not so austere as to render it élitist, and it has turned out well."
Jancis Robinson "Fresh, well-aged nose. Really quite frothy on the palate, I find. Lots of acidity. Clean and fresh and (just) broad enough to take it."
Wilfred Wong "Billecart-Salmon Brut Nature Champagne is at once rewarding and teeth-biting, as well as delicious and lasting."
Matthew Jukes "The tension and poise here are sensational..., this is a cracker."
A natural champagne made without added sugar
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 per cent control of production.
Champagne is the most iconic sparkling wine in the world, produced in the region of Champagne in France. Synonymous with celebration, champagne is typically produced from a few specific varieties of grapes: pinot noir, chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier. With effervescent flavours of citrus, almond, and apple, champagne comes in varying levels of sweetness and has a moderate amount of alcohol. The most treasured Champagnes age for a minimum of 3 years.
The Champagne region is located 140 kilometres from Paris, France. While the vines in this region have been producing wine since the Roman era, it is only in the past couple of hundred years that winemakers began producing Champagne using méthode champenoise - the complex method that produces the style of Champagne the world knows and loves today. Another important component of the production of champagne is the chalk and limestone soils that dominate the Champagne region. Vines grown in these conditions result in wines that are high in acidity - a key component to making good sparkling wine. Champagne's northerly location - about as north as grapes can ripen - also allows for higher acidity and lower alcohol levels which are also very important for producing quality sparkling wine.