Disgorged in October 2020 with seven grams per liter dosage the 2008 Brut Blanc de Blancs Cuvée Louis Salmon is showing beautifully unfurling in the glass with scents of crisp yellow apple and stone fruits mingled with dried white flowers freshly baked bread buttery pasty and mandarin oil. Full-bodied ample and fleshy it's a textural racy penetrating wine endowed with considerable cut and concentration. It's derived from the villages of Cramant Mesnil-sur-Oger and Chouilly with the latter accounting for some 40% of the blend. My most recent visit with vineyard director Denis Blee and cellar master Florent Nys was a great opportunity to get up to date with what's happening at Billecart-Salmon. This important house is the proprietor of 100 hectares and it is contracted to farm another 100 or so hectares from whence they purchase the fruit a service they began offering their partner-proprietors in 1996. They purchase fruit from another 100 or so hectares that they don't farm. To manage this extensive vignoble Billecart has four viticultural centers?in Oiry Mailly Damery and Aÿ?equipped with 13 tractors a number that will surely continue to climb since from 2020 the house has abandoned the use of chemical herbicides. In the winery cold fermentation to preserve purity and expressive fruit has long been Billecart's calling card and that continues today in 47 hectoliter tanks of either stainless steel or wood maintained at 13 degrees centigrade and with malolactic fermentation completed or not depending on the vintage. Little by little a barrel program has been established and refined without changing Billecart's DNA: today five-year-old barrels are purchased secondhand and initially used for the "tailles" (heavier press fractions) before they are deemed sufficiently neutral to contribute to cuvées such as the Brut Sous Bois. Another development is investment dedicated to increasing the proportion of reserve wines which now routinely surpasses 50% for the Brut Réserve (it was more like 35% not long ago). Recent releases from Billecart have been excellent and show all that work very clearly and surely the upward trajectory will be perpetuated if the house continues to invest in agronomic improvements. Fans of Billecart's elegant pillowy but precise style will be delighted by everything reviewed in this report. Published: Aug 31 2022
Perfectly mature this Champagne has richness as well as a taut mineral texture. The wine is delicious with its steely edge balanced by bright apple flavors. It is well ready to drink. Billecart Salmon USA. ?R.V.
The NV Champagne Sous Bois Brut pours a medium yellow to deeper straw hue and the nose is warming and more generous with notes of toast red fruit of ripe raspberry spice and espresso. The palate is rounded with rich texture though dry offering notes of orange peel and currant. It has a silky texture and a fairly long finish with ripe concentration. It is drinking well now and should drink well over the next 15 years. Mathieu Roland-Billecart assumed the position of CEO at this estate in 2019 and represents the seventh generation in his family. The house is based in Maureuil sur Ay which is also the location of the monopole vineyard of Clos Saint-Hillaire. They source from approximately 300 hectares of vines of which they own a third. French and Stockingur barrels with medium toast are purchased new and seasoned at the house for three to five years before use. About 80% of production is fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks. Only the best plots are fermented in barrels at cold temperatures before getting transferred to stainless steel tanks for aging after no more than six months. None of the wines are aged in barrel and they never allow for malolactic fermentation to occur in barrel.jd