Sunday, October 2, 2016

Billecart-Salmon Cuvee Nicolas Francois Billecart

Billecart-Salmon Cuvee Nicolas Francois Billecart 1978
Mareuil-sur-Ay, Champagne, France

I can't tell you how excited I was when my father told me what he had found. Hiding in my grandfather's basement was a good condition 1978 Billecart-Salmon Cuvee Nicolas Francois! My grandfather couldn't recall where exactly it came from, but encouraged us to enjoy it none the less.

Cuvee Nicolas Francois Billecart is a tribute to the house's founder. It is made only in the most exceptional years from Grands Cru Chardonnay in the Côte des Blancs and Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims. In 2015, a case of the 1978 vintage sold for $3,981 at Sotheby's. Needless to say, I was beyond thrilled to taste a wine of this quality with such age.

Review: This beauty is a deep gold color, bordering on amber, with slow moving pin-prick bubbles. The wine has an intense nose of apricot, bitter almonds, caramel, with just a hint of apple cider vinegar. The palate is dry with bright, zippy acid and a very slight mousse. Dried quince, toasted almond, and brioche come together with some earthy cheese rind for a right full flavor.

Food Pairing: This wine is simply too fine to pair with food. It's rare to find a wine of this age and quality. Simply enjoy.

Bottom Line: I loved the concentration of flavor and the nuance of age. What a spectacular bottle.

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Wine Geekery:
  • VINTAGE: 1978
  • PLACE: Champagne AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée)
  • GRAPES: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir
  • BOOZE: 12%
  • CELLAR: Drink now -- it's time. 

Where did I get it? An Amazing Family Find
What's the damage? Super Premium

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