1999 Billecart-Salmon "Cuvee Nicolas François Billecart" NFB Brut Champagne
Fabulous aromas of minerals, pear pie, nuts with bread dough and apple character. Full-bodied, lively and wonderful with bright fruit and a clean finish. Very layered and juicy. This was a very hot year for Champagne and a year for Pinot Noir. But this is so fresh and complex. 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. 10% of the Pinot is fermented in barrel. Drink now.
Very elegant, ethereal in texture and well-knit, offering flavors of poached pear, black licorice, lemon pâte de fruit, pastry and ground ginger. Shows fine balance and integration, with a fresh, lasting finish of ripe fruit and saline minerality. Drink now through 2027. (AN)
Bright yellow-gold. An exotically perfumed bouquet evokes fresh pear, iodine, white flowers and toasted brioche, with gingery spice and mineral notes adding vibrancy. Rich and weighty but quite lithe and focused, offering sappy orchard and citrus fruit flavors and a chalky mineral nuance on the back half. Closes on a smoky note, with excellent focus and lingering floral character. (JR)
Wine & Spirits
A complex and dynamic Champagne, this layers the cinnamon scent of oak over white chalk and fresh pear, all deepened by an umami richness (a portion of the blend was aged in neutral oak barrels). It has the light grandeur of the 1999 vintage and appears to be at an optimal moment for drinking right now.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The Billecart-Salmon 1999 Brut Nicolas Francois Billecart - its Pinot predictably from the Montagne de Reims and Chardonnay from the Cote des Blancs - accompanies aromatic overtones of yeast and baked goods with an almost doughy sense of substantiality and plushness, yet features as well the buoyancy and the bright lemony and crabapple-y acidity with attendant cut and freshness that are hallmarks of this house’s style. The understatement to this cuvee’s melange of herbs ranging from lemon verbena to blond tobacco as well as its subtly alkaline and chalky undertone are also characteristics I associate with the name Billecart-Salmon; and nutty hints of evolution are quite discrete, suggesting a younger wine. Metaphorically cooling; laid-back and soothing; yet offering stimulating refreshment and intrigue, this will probably be well worth following for another 4-6 years. (DS)