2006 Billecart-Salmon "Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart" Brut Champagne

SKU #1325364 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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)  (12/2018)

96 points Decanter

 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)  (5/2017)

95 points Wine Enthusiast

 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)  (12/2018)

94 points James Suckling

 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.  (9/2018)

94 points Wine Spectator

 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)  (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 4 grames of sugar per liter. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)

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Price: $129.99

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By: Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/23/2019 | Send Email
This Champagne is exceptional, both in quality and value. 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: 11/19/2019 | 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.

By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/19/2019 | 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.
Drink from 2019 to 2046

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