Billecart-Salmon Brut "Sous Bois" Champagne
Fermented in wood, this mature and rich Champagne is sophisticated and stylish. It has a rich, full-bodied character with hints of spice as well as dry, citrus fruits. It has a steely core, showing a taut texture as well as some maturity. Ready to drink, it will also age in bottle.
Beautiful aromas of light butter, dough, cooked apples and apple purée. Full-bodied and very rich with plenty of fruit, intense nut, and light toasted oak. Very structured. This is decanted in cuve and then racked into bottles and fermented in old oak barrels for eight to nine months. Battonage and malo blocked. One third of each grape type: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. A blend of 2008 and 2007. About 10,000 bottle produced. This will age really well.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright yellow. Pungent orchard fruit and lemon curd scents are complemented by suggestions of vanilla, anise and smoky minerals. Toasty and silky in texture, offering juicy pear and tangerine flavors plus a deeper suggestion of candied fig on the back half. Closes sappy, focused and long, with repeating smokiness and strong mineral cut.
Wine & Spirits
Vinified in oak, this cuvée emphasizes more earthiness than the other Billecart wines we tasted. The only hint of wood is in a touch of walnut-skin bitterness, but that is subsumed into a mousse of chalk, a fragrant juice of limestone. It’s tight and firm, finishing clean, needing air or bottle age to fully express its complexity.
Shows lovely integration, with no discernible break between the racy acidity and silky texture and the flavors of fresh apple and white cherry fruit, chalk, lemon zest and pickled ginger. Spice and graphite notes play on the finish.
This new cuvee is all vinified in oak but hasn't a hint of obvious oak on the nose. Lovely quality of fizz. Brooding and intense. There is marked density here and excellent balance and persistence. As usual, we are not told on the back label how old this blend may be, just that it is 'respectfully composed' of the three Champagne varieties. But it's impressive wine and I suspect it will not be cheap. Recommended.