Church Street Wine Cellars is pleased to announce the return of Champagne Billecart-Salmon after an eleven year hiatus in the Vermont market. One of the oldest and most prestigious, FAMILY-OWNED houses (the Billecarts have been living in Mareuil-sur-Ay since the 16th Century) which own an unprecedented 70% of their vineyards, where many “Grandes Marques” control often less than 20% and are forced to buy on the open market. At Church Street Wine Cellars, we always say, friends don’t let friends drink Grandes Marques Champagne, especially when so many other higher quality alternatives exist for the same prices.
Before Billecart disappeared from the market, they were best known for their delicate and complex roses, undoubtedly some of the most sought after pink Champagnes in the country, gracing only the finest wine shops and the best chef’s tables. The wines are bone dry and mineral infused, and like the Brut, displays extremely bright fruit. The nose and palate reveal cherries and strawberries as it opens in the glass.
Today much of the critical acclaim is for the Extra Brut wines which have little (if any) sugar in their “dosage”. This is a difficult style to pull off without the wines coming off as shrill or overly acidic, yet Billecart does the job admirably and their Extra Brut NV and Extra Brut Vintage 2004 are not only a couple of the finest examples of this style; they are also exceptionally well-priced. These are some of the brightest, cleanest and most mineral-driven Champagnes on the market today. Champagne expert Richard Juhlin describes them as “fresh as a spring morning.” These are wines renowned for their purity and precision of flavors and our specialty wine shop are thrilled to be offering them.
Recently the influential French wine publication “La Revue du Vin de France” named the Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve its best non-vintage Champagne and the Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé the leader in that category. True Champagne royalty, Billecart-Salmon Champagnes are sure to enliven any toast, but also work brilliantly as apéritifs and exquisitely pair with foods of all sorts, from hors d’oeuvres, appetizer, entrée, dessert, or any number of small plates.
Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve
Like a pretty girl in a summer dress, this Champagne has a fresh, winsome profile. Citrus, green apples and pear comprise the palate, which is shot with an alluring minerality. Pure, elegant and delicious.
“The NV Brut Reserve is a pretty, introspective wine laced with bright, citrus fruit, flowers and minerals.
Medium in body, the wine reveals plenty of length and focus, with a crisp, refreshing finish. The Brut Reserve is a great introduction to the elegance of Billecart-Salmon.” – Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate
Billecart-Salmon Extra Brut NV
A Champagne free of dosage has to rely on the quality of its fruit. Fortunately, when the producer is Billecart-Salmon, that’s not much of a problem. This flinty golden-yellow bubbly is dry as the proverbial bone, but it’s fresh, glowing with white peaches, and incandescent with tiny bubbles. Delicious with blini, or however you like your caviar.
Billecart-Salmon Vintage Extra Brut 2004
The ’04 Billecart-Salmon Brut is a Champagne wearing a Cary Grant suit: all broad shoulders and elegant frame. Don’t let the sunny hue fool you; this Champagne has structure for days, the better to support its delicate white floral aromas, succulent peach notes and streak of acidity. Drinking now to 2016.
Billecart-Salmon Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru NV
“The NV Blanc de Blancs (from vineyards in the Cote des Blancs) emerges with firm, chalky notes that frame a highly individualistic expression of Chardonnay. The wine possesses striking depth and clarity, along with a graceful, elegant finish. This is another very strong effort from Billecart-Salmon…” -Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate
Billecart-Salmon Brut Blanc de Blanc 1999 Chardonnay in grand style, a model of balance and a pure product of the Chardonnay vine, it is the result of a blend of the best grands crus sites of the Côte des Blancs: Chouilly for its finesse, Avize for its power and Mesnil-sur-Oger for its structure and longevity.
Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé
Racy, fresh, and structured, this Rosé is like the Lauren Bacall of Champagnes: surprisingly sexy and a complete class act. Strawberries and cassis layer over brioche and roses in this medium-bodied, beautifully blush, quintessentially elegant wine.
“The NV Brut Rose is beautifully balanced in its layers of perfumed red fruit, berries and flowers. Clean mineral notes frame a silky, sensual finish. Billecart-Salmon’s NV Brut Rose is one of the most consistently delicious roses readers are likely to find…” -Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate
Billecart-Salmon Brut Cuvée Nicolas Francois Billecart 2000
“If you like your Champagnes larger than life, this ’00 is your wine. Ebullient and charming, the Cuvee Nicolas Francois Billecart ’00 packs a dense, creamy punch. Lots of ripe peaches and pears and a dash of spiciness strike a balance with acidity and minerality in this exuberant wine. Drinking now to 2020, but why wait?” —93 points Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate
Billecart-Salmon Cuvée Elisabeth Salmon Rosé 1999 Created in 1988 as a tribute to the co-founder Elisabeth Salmon, this extremely delicate cuvée is elaborated from an equal blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. They are vinified as white wine, to which some Pinot Noir from Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, vinified as red wine, has been added. This great wine emphasises the strict methods of vinification of Billecart-Salmon.
To purchase or inquire about these great wines and others, drop by Thursday through Saturday, noon to five-thirty (or by appointment) or check us out at www.churchstreetwinecellars.com