2002 Billecart-Salmon "Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart" Brut Champagne

SKU #1141093 98 points Decanter

 Always the finest wine of the house, now rightly promoted as their prestige cuvée. A luminous gold colour with green tints indicates how youthful this still is. It is hard to do justice to its very high quality - latent power and density without heaviness, and supreme finesse. Brillant with wood-roasted turbot. One of the greatest wines of a great year. (ME)  (2/2017)

98 points James Suckling

 A very composed Champagne with plenty of still fresh lemon and white cherry fruits on offer. There's impressive clarity, power and richness here. The nose has candied peach, strawberry, white cherry and grilled nuts. Very flavorsome palate with pastry flavors adding savory notes to the stone fruits and citrus. Toasted almonds and chalky minerals define the long finish. Still so young and powerful! Drink now.  (10/2017)

96 points Wine Enthusiast

 With its ripe fruits, rich texture and layers of toast, this is a great wine. It shows the quality of the great 2002 vintage brilliantly. It’s complex and concentrated with an array of mature fruit flavors that combine to a structured whole. It will improve with age, so drink this great Champagne through 2025 and perhaps longer. *Cellar Selection* (RV)  (12/2013)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Disgorged in April 2016, after 13 years on the lees in bottle, Billecart-Salmon's recent release of the 2002 Millésime Brut Cuvée Nicolas François is an amazing wine for lovers of matured, pure and spicy Champagnes. This is a blend of 60% Pinot Noir (from premier and grand crus of the Montagne de Reims and the Grande Vallée de la Marne) and 40% Chardonnay (from the Côte des Blancs), with 20% vinified in oak barrels. It opens with a deep, rich, intense, pure and chalky bouquet with ripe, yellow-fleshed stone fruits, citrus fruits and beautiful bottle maturity. This is quite mature compared to the 2002 Clos Saint-Hilaire, and this might be due to the cork, which came out of the bottle neck far too easy. This 2002 is rich but more vinous now than the bright and highly delicate 2006. The palate is pretty intense, dense and viscous, while the finish is refined and pure, with vibrant freshness and gastronomic grip. It is slightly drying, though. This is a very complex, round and intense 2002 with very fine bubbles. It should be served with poultry or turbot in a creamy sauce, as recommended by Billecart's chef de cave, Florent Nys. Tasted from lot L112A675 44251 in November 2018. There might be even better, fresher bottles than this. (SR) 95+  (12/2018)

95 points Wine Spectator

 There's a buoyant, almost ethereal quality to this elegant Champagne, offering a rich range of blackberry pâte de fruit, crystallized honey, grilled nut and oyster shell flavors, set on a fine, chalky mousse. Long and mouthwatering, with a clean, citrus-infused finish. (AN)  (11/2015)

94 points Vinous

 The 2002 Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart comes across as rich, powerful and opulent. This latest release of the 2002 was disgorged in July 2015 and finished with a Chardonnay-based liqueur whereas the previous release, disgorged in May 2014, was finished with a Pinot Noir-based liqueur. This is a distinctly vinous, almost shockingly raw, visceral Champagne from Billecart-Salmon. There is no shortage of volume or intensity, that is for sure. Stylistically, this year's release inhabits a whole other world relative to last year's release. Dosage is 4 grams per liter. (AG)  (8/2016)

94 points Wine & Spirits

 Billecart’s rigorous selection of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (60/40) for this prestige cuvée, in tandem with the remarkably powerful 2002 vintage, make this a youthful 14-year-old wine, still bright and floral, with an underlying density and concentration that predicts years of development ahead. It’s complex, voluptuous and savory, with depths of oyster-shell minerality and the brioche scent of clean, fine lees.  (12/2016)

93 points John Gilman

 The 2002 Cuvée Nicolas-François is still a fairly young wine, but at this early stage, it looks likely to be one of the top recent vintages of this bottling. The wine is still quite primary in its aromatic profile, offering up scents of green apple, quince, stony minerality, fresh pineapple, a touch of nutmeg and bread dough. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, crisp and quite tightly-knit, with a good core of fruit, fine mousse and very good grip on the focused and long finish. This still needs a few years to blossom, but should prove to be very good indeed. Drink between 2018-2035.  (9/2014)


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Price: $179.99

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By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/23/2016 | Send Email
This spectacular offering from Billecart-Salmon is composed of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. It is fermented primarily in stainless steel at very cold temperatures to give it the freshness that we all love, but 13% was done in oak for added richness. The dosage is very low, just 5 grams per liter, and just over 4,000 cases were made. The wine has a very creamy Nutella and white fruit nose with a very clean, citric flavor. The NFB has presence on the palate, with plenty of concentration and texture, very long finish that shows off the savor of the top quality Pinot Noir in the blend. This is one of the top wines from the 2002 vintage, and it is great to see the patience of the Billecart family who are releasing this as one of the last 2002s to market. This has great potential for keeping but will not last long in our stocks!

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