Billecart-Salmon Cuvee Nicolas Francois Billecart 1999
This generous and powerful vintage is characterized by the elegant vinosity of a complex and mature wine. A lovely color of sparkling yellow-gold veiled in soft golden reflections. This very luminous and intense visual perception gives to the effervescence a rising of fine-cut bubbles. All the richness and subtlety of an aromatic curve enhances the maturity of the delicious fruit. Fine aroma notes of praline from lightly roasted dried fruit (almonds, dried dates, and grilled chestnuts), refined by the floral and sensory elegance of a touch of infusion (lime tree, verbena).
When Nicolas Francois Billecart married Elisabeth Salmon in the early 1800s, the two families' long-held vineyards were married as well. This led to Nicolas' decision to leave his law practice and establish the Billecart-Salmon house in 1818, which now stands as the oldest continuously family-owned and operated house in Champagne. Billecart-Salmon harvests early for more elegant and delicate champagnes, selecting grapes with a strong-acid structure instead of relying on the alcohol as a preservative. Another defining characteristic is their practice of double-cold settling which they began in 1952. This involves a primary cold settling of the pressed juice for a period of 12 hours. The juice is then racked into clean tanks where it is chilled down to 35.6 degrees F for another 48 hours. This second and much colder settling eliminates any wild yeasts and additional heavy elements without the use of enzymes, filtering, or a centrifuge. This exceptional cuvee was created in 1964 as a tribute to the House's founder. It results from the blending of grands crus from the classified Cote des Blancs (Chardonnay) and the Montagne de Reims (Pinot Noir) vineyards and vinification in traditional oak casks.