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Billecart-Salmon "Sous Bois" Brut Champagne

SKU #1096208 93 points James Suckling

 Some wood elevage adds light, cedary notes to the brioche, spiced-berry and apple-pastry aromas The palate has a smooth, full and focused feel with lemon-peel and white-cherry flavors in a crisp, assertive and fresh mode. Poached strawberries to close. This is superb! Drink now.  (9/2018)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Rich flavors of glazed apricot and baked currant fruit, toast, hazelnut, spice and lime blossom show intensity in this well-meshed Champagne, carried on the satinlike mousse and enlivened by racy acidity. Offers a long, sleek finish. Drink now through 2022. (AN)  (11/2017)

92 points Decanter

 This is produced from an equal blend of the three classic Champagne grape varieties: Pinot Noir sourced from the Montagne de Reims sector and Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs (both from premier cru and grand cru villages), plus Pinot Meunier from the Marne Valley. It has delicate notes of hazelnut and white fruit as well as a hint of pastry, showing lots of personality on the palate and a pleasing lightness on the finish. Suitable for fish served with a white or Normandy sauce. (  (12/2018)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Fermented in small oak barrels and aged for six to seven years on the bottle lees prior the disgorgement (dosage: seven grams per liter), the NV Brut Sous Bois is a blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay in equal parts whose composition includes 67% of the 2009 harvest and 33% reserve wines from the 2008 harvest. The nose is spicy, pure and fresh, delivering small red berry, white fruit and floral as well as nicely fresh oak flavors to the ripe and well-concentrated nose. Full-bodied and rich, this is a very intense and well-structured, pure and vinous champagne clearly driven by the two Pinot varieties in terms of fruit and body. The Chardonnay, however, contributes freshness, finesse and a long, citrus-fresh and tightly structured finish. Tasted from lot L 390A743 44031 that was disgorged in October 2017. (SR)  (12/2018)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (a blend of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier; L411113): Light, bright gold. Smoky pear and redcurrant scents are complicated by toasty lees, vanilla and fresh rose. Silky and expansive on the palate, offering toasty citrus and orchard fruit flavors that are given lift and spine by juicy acidity. The toasty note comes back on the mineral-tinged finish, which lingers with impressive tenacity. (JR)  (12/2013)

92 points Vinous

 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. (JR)  (1/2015)

91 points John Gilman

 As I noted back in January, this relatively new cuvée of “Sous Bois” from Billecart-Salmon is made up entirely of base wines which were barrel-fermented, though happily in seven or eight year-old barrels, so that the oak influence in the wine is quite subtle. Like the house’s Brut Réserve, the cépage here is essentially a one-third each split of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier. The new release of Sous Bois from Billecart is another beautifully made wine, wafting from the glass in a mélange of apple, pear, fresh-baked bread, stony minerality and a touch of gently buttery new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and complex, with a fine core, excellent soil signature, very refined mousse, crisp acids and superb length and grip on the gently woody finish. This seems a touch more marked by its oak than last year’s version did- but, I did taste last year’s release about four months later into the year, so perhaps it was just a function of the wine having a bit more time to better absorb its oak component. This is not overtly woody, but I would give it a bit of time in the cellar to allow the oak to become more subtle in its influence. It is a very well-made wine. (Drink between 2014-2030) 91+  (7/2015)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 Equal proportions of the three main Champagne grapes and partial aging in wood before bottling give this wine a distinctively rich character. Bottle aging has also softened the concentrated white fruits and acidity. This balanced wine is ready to drink. (RV)  (12/2018)

Jancis Robinson

 Quite marked oak influence. Broad and savoury. Lots of ripe fruit. A sort of sparkling old-fashioned Meursault. 16.5/20 points. (JR)  (6/2018)


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Price: $76.99

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Staff Image By: Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/13/2018 | Send Email
I think that this latest version of this wine is probably the best one yet. It has a rich nose of golden apples and subtle, soft, oak. Also rich on the palate with baked apples, sea salt and a hint of minerals. Rich and round, with excellent acidity and depth. The once controversial champagne (for our staff), has found its sweet spot and is an excellent example of this style of champagne. It is a great pick for both the adventurous and those of you who are really into food and Champagne pairing.

Staff Image By: Joe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/13/2018 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Half
I had the pleasure of trying this Champagne about a week ago along with a couple other Billecart-Salmon offerings. This was my favorite, for its inherent richness. The aroma was very reminiscent of a white Burgundy; dried orchard fruit, custard, and chalky minerality. On the palate, creamy fruit, lemon juice, and pear flavors play with an elegant toast and round mouthfeel. Acidity is still elevated; the chalkiness also comes through. This Champagne's power and balance come together wonderfully; worth every penny!

Staff Image By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/23/2017 | Send Email
Containing base wine that is barrel fermented, and then given a generously long ageing on its lees, this cuvée is rich, elegant and expensive tasting. That said, given the quality of the base wine and the blocking of malolactic, there is a fine line of acidity marking this rich barrel aged Champagne, as well as a soft bead as well. A great Champagne for a meal, though for my taste I would be just as happy sipping on this and simple hors d'oeuvres as I would be enjoying it with a sumptuous meal.

Staff Image By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/2/2015 | Send Email
The current batch of the Sous Bois from Billecart Salmon is based on the spectacular 2008 vintage, and the combination of richness from the all barrel vinification and the extraordinary acidity of the vintage makes for one of the most impressive bottles in their line. If you haven't tried this newest addition to the great line from Billecart, don't miss out, the 2008 based wine is very special!

Additional Information:

Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.
Sub-Region:

Champagne

- The French region of Champagne (comprised of the towns of Rheims, Epernay, and Ay) was the first region in the world to make sparkling wine in any quantity. Today, the name of the region is synonymous with the finest of all sparkling wines, and winemaking traditions of Champagne have become role models for sparkling wine producers, worldwide. Surprisingly, the region of Champagne is now responsible for only one bottle in 12 of all sparkling wine produced. Styles of champagne range from the basic brut (often blends of several vintages), single vintage champagnes, and rose.
Alcohol Content (%): 12