Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut Cuvee Nicolas Francois 1.5L 2006

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This exceptional cuvée was created in 1964 as a tribute to the House’s founder. It results from the blending of grands crus from the classified Côte des Blancs vineyards (Chardonnay) and the Montagne de Reims (Pinot Noir). Its vinification, partially in traditional oak casks, underpins the generous character of this fine, elegant and rich wine.

Appearance: A lovely colour of sparkling yellow gold veiled in soft golden reflections. This very luminous and intense visual perception gives to the effervescence a rising of fine-cut bubbles.

Aroma: All the richness and subtlety of an aromatic curve enhances the maturity of the delicious fruit. Fine notes of praline from lightly roasted dried fruit (almonds, dried dates and grilled chestnuts), refined by the floral and sensory elegance of a touch of infusion (Lime-tree, Verbena).

Palate: The balance of a tension controlled by the blossoming of the wine (caramelised stone fruit, light tobacco) and embodied by the line of noble biscuity flavours. A truly unique and personal character showing real vinosity.

Tasting: This generous and powerful vintage, characterised by the elegant vinosity of a complex and mature wine, will be served at cellar temperature (11/12°C). It will expose the flavours of a beautiful creamy, roasted poultry or a delicious slice of milk-fed veal with mushrooms.

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94pts James Suckling – 2006 vintage

“Fresh honey and bright poached apples with dried flowers, cherry pastry and richness that flows to the palate. A ripe array of white peaches, baked cherry pastry and a complex, smooth fleshy build in texture.

White peaches and brioche to close. Drinking well now, but it will deliver plenty in the next decade on cork.”

The Wine Advocate – 2006 vintage

“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.”

Wine Spectator – 2006 vintage

“Fine 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.”

97pts Vinous– 2006 vintage

The 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.

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