Billecart-Salmon Extra Brut Champagne
Superfine citrus-tinged aromas here that give way to more rich stone fruits then red berries; the purity is striking. Minerally accents like crushed rocks, plus dried wild flowers too. The palate's boldly flavored, the concentration is impressive and the energetic drive of acidity is a thrill - long strawberry and red cherry flavors amid some gentle biscuity, red-fruited notes to close.
Fresh and harmonious, this integrates a firm frame and a refined, lively bead with smoky roasted almond and toasted brioche notes, complemented by ripe golden apple and blackberry fruit and accents of honey, lemon zest and bread dough.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(L348232 16155) Pale gold. Aromas of dried pear, quince and white flowers, with a hint of exotic fruits emerging with air. In the mouth, sappy mango, pineapple and honeysuckle flavors are braced by a refreshing jolt of bitter quinine that lends a refreshingly dry edge. Closes steely and taut, with lingering mineral and citrus qualities. I like the blend of richness and nerviness here.
With zero dosage, this is obviously a very dry Champagne. But such is the richness of its fruit that it tastes ripe and rounded, allowing the citrus bite to fit well with the apple skin flavor.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Billecart’s 2004 Extra Brut – on whose labels, incidentally, that designation of dryness only appears in tiny print – opens with intimations of the fresh lemon and crabapple that then dominate a lively and invigorating palate. Hints of yeast and baked goods in the nose anticipate the subtle creaminess of texture achieved inner-mouth even with such liveliness and cut as otherwise characterizes this cuvee. Chalk and crushed stone impressions lend a touch of austerity to a penetratingly bright but otherwise understated finish. This rarified bottling may well take on more richness and complexity with a couple of years of bottle age and will probably be worth following for at least half a dozen. Billecart puts great stock by age-worthiness post- (as well as, of course, prior to) disgorgement. (DS)
At K&L we love the trend toward zero-dosage Champagnes. This one hails from the hallowed house of Billecart-Salmon, super-famous for its rosé bubblies. This is their non-vintage blend of Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Dry, yes! And great with food.