A vintage Champagne from a house that needs no introduction.
Pinot dominant, the Champagne exhibits a structure and framework that allows the brightness of the Chardonnay to elegantly shine through. The wine displays and incredible length and complexity, partly from the quality of the Grand Cru fruit, partly from the 10 years it spends on lees prior to disgorgement, and partly from the skill of the Chef de Cave, Florent Nys. It's an exceptional Champagne and one which sings with the essence of Maison Billecart-Salmon.
A new vintage cuvée has been released by Champagne Billecart-Salmon. Extra Brut 2007 is a blend of 75% Pinot Noir, sourced from Aÿ, Mareuil-sur-Aÿ and the Montagne de Reims, and 25% Côte des Blancs Chardonnay (from Avize, Cramant, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger, Chouilly and Vertus). It has a dosage of 4g/l.
The 2007 vintage was mixed, beginning with unusually high temperatures in April and early, but uneven, flowering. A cold, wet summer led to patchy ripening – with high humidity making rot a threat – though sunshine in late August meant that many houses harvested earlier than usual.
The cool summer is reflected in this Extra Brut style, making for a very dry, rather lean, palate – mineral and clean, with fresh citrus and a touch of salinity on the finish that would pair well with oysters. On the nose, freshly sliced lemon aromas are backed by hints of candied peel and marzipan.
A soft yellow hue with a golden shimmer, naturally underlined by an abundant and dynamic effervescence. Delicious, enticing and seductive fruit intensity with elegant notes of orchard fruits, nuts and citrus fruits. A pure and nuanced sensorial development brought from gourmet notes of marzipan, fresh pineapple and greengage plums. A beautiful definition with an aromatic expression, presenting a fruit maturity consistent with careful cellar ageing. A subtle richness of flavours (white and yellow stone fruits, mandarin zest and citrus flavours), amplified by a precise and distinguished vinification. The wine offers the unique dimension of a harmonious texture, bringing a balanced depth of taste and flavour. The finish is chiselled and persistent with an ageing potential worthy of a great vintage champagne. A charming and elegant vintage.
The Billecart family has been living in Mareuil-sur-Ay since the 16th century. When Nicolas Francois Billecart married Elisabeth Salmon in the early 1800s the two families' long held vineyards were married as well. This led to Nicolas' decision to leave his law practice and take over the family wine estate. In 1818 he founded the house of Billecart-Salmon which now stands as the oldest continuously family owned and operated house in Champagne. It is currently managed by the seventh generation, brothers Francois and Antoine Roland Billecart. The cellars are in the hands of renowned "chef de cave" Florent Nys.
Billecart-Salmon owns a total of 15 hectares of vineyards. Eleven of these are in the Vallee de la Marne split between 4ha of Grand Cru in Ay and Premier Cru in Mareuil-sur-Ay and 7ha in the village of Damery. In the Cote des Blancs the family owns 4ha of Grand Cru vineyards in the villages of Chouilly, Avize and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. With respect to harvest one of the most distinctive aspects of Billecart-Salmon is their philosophy that an early harvest yields more elegant and delicate champagnes. They look for a strong acid structure rather than alcohol as a preservative and therefore, never harvest at higher than 10 degrees of potential alcohol.
Over 7 generations, each member of the family has endeavoured to continue the family tradition, staying faithful to the same motto: "Give priority to quality, strive for excellence"
ROGER VOSS - WINE ENTHUSIAST
Definitely dry, this impressively crisp wine is tightly textured, mineral in character and with great fruit. Its acidity and taut tangy character are part of a sophisticated wine that is still maturing. The hints of toast are there, but this beautiful wine will take a while to show its full potential. Drink from 2019.
Sleek acidity firms this tightly meshed 2007, a racy frame for flavors of crème de cassis, toast, ground ginger and candied lemon zest. Long and minerally on the finish.
The spicy pinot noir holds sway on the nose with an array of sous bois, flinty minerals, dried cherries and brioche. The smaller component of chardonnay (25%) delivers a crisp lemon acidity on entry, which builds weight to a cherry-pastry finish. Lots of potential here.
STEPHAN REINHARDT - WINE ADVOCATE
Billecart-Salmon's intense and vinous 2007 Vintage blends 75% Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims and the Grande Vallée de la Marne (Mareuil-sur-Aÿ and Aÿ) with 25% Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs villages Avize, Cramant, Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger, Chouilly and Vertus. Vinified in stainless steel, the bouquet indicates pure, ripe and refined fruit with delicate brioche and morel scents as well as fine chalky and super discreet marzipan and nougat notes. Full-bodied and very intense in its fruit flavors, this is a rich, persistent, pure, just ripe and refined 2007 with a finish that is remarkably fresh but not fully round.
JANCIS ROBINSON MW
75% Pinot Noir from Aÿ, Mareuil-sur-Aÿ and the Montagne de Reims and the rest Chardonnay from top villages on the Côte des Blancs. Dosage just 4 g/l but it doesn't taste at all austere. Deep green gold. Very tight bead and on the palate tense but fully ripe. Tastes much mellower than 4 g/l. Very successful. 17.5 / 20 points.