Among the great wineries, famous for the production of Champagne wines, Billecart-Salmon Maison occupies, without a doubt, a remarkable position. On the other hand, it is not by chance that two thousandths (1959 and 1961) place themselves in the first two places of the ranking emerged from the famous blind tasting held in Stockholm in 1999 (the first, 1959, even called the “Champagne of the millennium”). If today the winery has a well-deserved reputation, much is due to the effort of each of the 6 generations of the Billecart-Salmon family who helped build and maintain it. A special mention goes to Charles Roland-Billecart, author, from the end of the ’50s, of the revolution in production techniques, with the adoption of a longer fermentation, at a lower temperature, and the freezing racking. To carry out these operations with greater simplicity was also built, in the same years, an area that housed many small vats (47 hectoliters) in stainless steel, thermoregulated, which allowed to vinify the grapes separately, cru per cru, parcel per parcel and varietal per varietal. The result was, from the start, the creation of wines with a more delicate and refined bouquet, with an extreme cleanliness of the fruit, which became the definitive winery expressive signature.
Among the wines produced Brut Réserve plays a rather important role, as it is the cheapest and most popular champagne, and therefore the one with the most extensive task of explaining the winery’s philosophy. It is a blend of the classic varieties of Champagne (Pinot Noir 30%, Chardonnay 30% and Pinot Meunier 40%) grown entirely in the Vallée de la Marne, which is why the maison defines it as a highly identifying product of this historic area. The cuvée is made for 45% from grapes of the year that carry out the two fermentations (alcoholic and malolactic) before being blended to the vins de réserve of the two previous vintages, and aged in bottle, on the lees, for about thirty months. Once disgorged and refilled with liqueur d’expédition (8gr/lt) the bottles are ready for marketing.
The wine has an intense straw yellow color and already the nose shows the three characteristics that are summarized in the motto of the house: “finesse, balance and elegance”, with an olfactory range that opens on notes of lime, Conference pear, hawthorn and brioche, followed by cedrata, kumquat, freesia and lily of the valley, with concluding echoes of white pebbles and toasted hazelnut. The taste is exquisitely vertical, with a juicy acidity, which activates the synapses and makes the eyes sparkle, and an elegant and creamy perlage; all accompanied by the return of citrus, the brioche and the flowers that accompany the sip until a refreshing good length closing.
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