Cuvée Louis Blanc de Blancs Vintage Champagne 2006
Receiving an enormous 96 points from Wine Advocate, Wine Enthusiast and Decanter Magazine, Billecart-Salmon’s Cuvée Louis Blanc de Blancs Vintage Champagne 2006 is nothing short of spectacular. Made entirely from Chardonnay grapes sourced from the very top Grands Crus of Avize, Chouilly, Mesnil-sur-Oger and Cramant, 5% was fermented in oak and the wine spent a decade ageing on the lees. Formerly called Prestige Blanc de Blancs, this wine was renamed in honour of the founder’s brother. And it feels completely timeless, giving all at once a sense of age and youth. Rich notes of lemon posset, tarte aux abricots, chewy nougat and buttery brioche, are perfectly balanced by the crunch of Japanese peach, lime zest, salted popcorn and chalk. There’s definitely a new King Louie.
Billecart-Salmon – often referred to as “Billy” by those who drink it regularly – can be found in the village of Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, just outside Epernay and off on a limb slightly from the bigger Champagne houses. Despite the immense quality they produce, their location and medium size have kept them slightly under the radar. Rather than loading their Champagne into every shop and restaurant, they’ve drip fed them into expert retailers and the Michelin star restaurants of Paris, which gives them a sense of exclusivity and that this is a brand for those in-the-know.
Created by the union of Elisabeth Salmon and Nicolas François Billecart in 1818, Billecart-Salmon remains under the ownership of the establishing family, which is a real rarity in the big business world of Champagne. Now in the hands of the seventh generation, they continue to focus on the family motto: “Give priority to quality, strive for excellence.” And they do it with aplomb, slowly fermenting at low temperatures to maintain the purity and aromatics of their wines. As Jancis Robinson says, “every Champagne enthusiast needs to be familiar with its wine… Billecart-Salmon is set apart as classy, elegant and understated, both the wine itself and the image the house cultivates.” But, be warned, Billecart-Salmon may not remain one of those hidden gems forever, especially as one of the wines was named “Champagne of the Millennium” by a committee of expert. Interestingly, they also took the second place in that same tasting, which comprised 150 of the finest Champagnes of the 20th Century. As a result, Champagne expert Richard Juhlin warns that this house is “very much in fashion at the moment” and goes as far as to say: “Make sure that you buy wines from Billecart-Salmon before they become as expensive as Krug!”
£20.67 per 100.00ml
SKU No.: 3052591
Style No.: 751312
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