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2006 Billecart-Salmon "Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart" Brut Champagne (Previously $160)

SKU #1325364 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark Created in 1964 as a tribute to the house’s founder, the youngest release is the 2006 Millésime Brut Cuvée Nicolas François, a blend of 60% Pinot Noir from premier and grand crus from the Montagne de Reims and the Grande Vallée de la Marne and 40% Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs. Almost entirely fermented in stainless steel (only 5% was vinified in oak barrels) and aged for 11 years on the lees, this is a beautifully ripe and rich yet pure champagne with ripe fruit flavors intermixed with chalky notes and brioche/nougat flavors. The palate is intense and concentrated in its rich fruit and substantial depth but also tight, highly elegant and perfectly balanced. The typical finesse of Billecart-Salmon is palatable as well as amazingly pure, with the persistent structure of a great Champagne. The 2006 already drinks dangerously well, but there is no need to hurry, this will go a long way. (SR) Inner quote mark (12/2018)

97 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The 2006 Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine, but it needs time to be at its best. I am surprised by how tightly wound it is. But that only makes me think what it might develop into with time in the cellar. Lemon confit, white flowers, mint, crushed rocks and sage meld together in a bright, crystalline Champagne endowed with terrific purity. The 2006 is 60% Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims and the Vallée de la Marne and 40% Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs, mostly done in steel, with just a touch of oak, around 5%. Dosage is 6 grams per liter. (AG) Inner quote mark (8/2020)

96 points Decanter

Outer quote mark This wine has always been a blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay since its inception in 1964, honouring the house's co-founder. Like the other founder's cuvées, 5% of the wine is vinified in old oak barrels and it then spends 11 years on its lees with partial malolactic fermentation. It has a beautiful mousse and fine, fast-streaming bubbles, and is very tight and reserved at first, opening in the glass to reveal refined sous bois, pastry, tart red apple, rich yellow plum and lifted floral notes. Elegant, complex, long and zesty, it's still very young with its full potential yet to show. (TG) Inner quote mark (5/2017)

95 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark Named after the founder of the house, Nicolas François Billecart (who married Elisabeth Salmon), this wine is now at its peak. It is poised between fresh apple fruits and broader, riper maturity. This balance gives a ripe wine hinting at toast and almonds while still with a dry aftertaste. *Cellar Selection* (RV) Inner quote mark (12/2018)

94 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark Fresh honey and bright poached apples with dried flowers, cherry pastry and richness that flows to the palate. A ripe array of white peaches, baked cherry pastry and a complex, smooth fleshy build in texture. White peaches and brioche to close. Drinking well now, but it will deliver plenty in the next decade on cork. Inner quote mark (9/2018)

94 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark Fine and creamy, this harmonious Champagne layers a firm backbone of bright acidity with a lovely range of orange pâte de fruit, marzipan, lime blossom and toasted brioche notes. Tightly meshed and racy, with a long, lightly spiced finish. (AN) Inner quote mark (10/2018)

K&L Notes

This beautiful tête de cuvée is always aged for at least 10 years on the lees before release, making this one of the better aged bottlings that we have in the category. It is composed of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay all from Grand Cru vineyards. It sees 30% barrel maturation and is dosed at just six grams of sugar per liter. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)

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Price: $99.99

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Product Reviews:

By: Stephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/9/2020 | Send Email
This is a fantastic bottle of bubbles from one of the great houses in Champagne. Aged 11 years on the lees, Billecart Salmon's 2006 Cuvee Nicolas Francois boasts ripe citrus fruits, brioche, pear and apricot. The ripe stone fruits continue on palate, balanced with a toasted nuttiness and ripeness throughout. This bottle goes down easy now, but will have a long life in the cellar as well.

By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/19/2020 | Send Email
I was treated to a bottle of this by Clement Calleja of Champagne Billecart-Salmon with the whole K&L Champagne team. It was the highlight of an evening where we drank every single one of the wonderful Champagnes of this great house. What stood out to me is the extraordinary creamy, nougaty aromas and flavors as well as the exceptionally tiny, tight bead of bubbles. This elegant tête de cuvée had me writing LUXURY in all caps in my notebook, and wowed me with layers of complexity that did not get in the way of supremely easy drinking. This is one of the best we have from the grand marques!
Drink from 2020 to 2046

By: Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/13/2020 | Send Email
Billecart-Salmon Champagne is consistently exceptional, both in quality and value, and that rings even truer in this special bottling. While it’s tricky to label a wine that retails for over $100 as a bargain, the heart and meticulous winemaking that goes into this release makes it worthwhile. The 2006 Cuvée Nicolas François spends an extra two years on the lees than most specialty releases from Billecart Salmon, bringing the total aging to ten years, at least! Some time in barrel gives it a toasty roundness without sacrificing brightness. White floral notes and berry fruit stand out on the nose, thanks to the 60-40% Pinot Noir-Chardonnay composition, with a creaminess to the palate that feels luxurious. But at six grams dosage, it stays balanced, with a crisp, dry finish. Plus, 2006 was such a generous vintage that this baby is ready to drink, and pairs especially well with sushi. Get it while you still can.

By: Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/12/2020 | Send Email
This is one of the best champagnes in the store! A fragrant nose of white flowers and white stone fruits. Just lovely! Beautiful on the palate, with heavy cream, apricot, ginger and baking spices. Orange and pastry on the lingering finish. Simply yummy! It also was tied for the number one spot among a group of hardcore customers that meet quarterly and focus upon vintage champagnes. As of March of 2020, during a visit to Billecart-Salmon, it continued to show extremely well with flavors of vanilla cake and peach mousse. Buy some to drink and some to stow in the cellar for another 5 years. This one just continues to get better!

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