Billecart-Salmon 'Nicolas Francois' Cuvée 1999 Champagne, France

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REGION
Champagne, France

VARIETAL
60% Pinot Noir & 40% Chardonnay

TASTING NOTES
This exceptional cuvée was created in 1964 as a tribute to the House’s founder. It results from the blending of grands crus from the classified Côte des Blancs vineyards (Chardonnay) and the Montagne de Reims (Pinot Noir). Its vinification, partially in traditional oak casks, underpins the generous character of this fine, elegant and rich wine.

Appearance: A lovely colour 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.

Aroma: All the richness and subtlety of an aromatic curve enhances the maturity of the delicious fruit. Fine 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).

Palate: The balance of a tension controlled by the blossoming of the wine (caramelised stone- fruit, light tobacco) and embodied by the line of noble biscuity flavours. A truly unique and personal character showing real vinosity.

Tasting: This generous and powerful vintage, characterised by the elegant vinosity of a complex and mature wine, will be served at cellar temperature (11/12°C). It will expose the flavours of a beautiful creamy, roasted poultry or a delicious slice of milk-fed veal with mushrooms. -Winemaker's Notes

96pts James Suckling
"Fabulous aromas of minerals, pear pie, nuts with bread dough and apple character. Full-bodied, lively and wonderful with bright fruit and a clean finish. Very layered and juicy. This was a very hot year for Champagne and a year for pinot noir. But this is so fresh and complex. 60% pinot noir and 40% chardonnay. 10% of the pinot is fermented in barrel. Drink now."

95pts Wine Spectator
"Very elegant, ethereal in texture and well-knit, offering flavors of poached pear, black licorice, lemon pâte de fruit, pastry and ground ginger. Shows fine balance and integration, with a fresh, lasting finish of ripe fruit and saline minerality. Drink now through 2027."

93pts Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar "Yellow-gold. Powerful smoky, floral aromas of poached pear, orange pith, dried fig and iodine, with a smoky topnote. Rich and deeply pitched but almost shockingly energetic on the palate, offering a bracing mineral character to its citrus and orchard fruit flavors. The smoky quality comes back on the finish, which shows superb clarity and finishing thrust. This Champagne's marriage of power and vivacity is pretty impressive."

91pts Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"The Billecart-Salmon 1999 Brut Nicolas Francois Billecart – its Pinot predictably from the Montagne de Reims and Chardonnay from the Cote des Blancs – accompanies aromatic overtones of yeast and baked goods with an almost doughy sense of substantiality and plushness, yet features as well the buoyancy and the bright lemony and crabapple-y acidity with attendant cut and freshness that are hallmarks of this house’s style. The understatement to this cuvee’s melange of herbs ranging from lemon verbena to blond tobacco as well as its subtly alkaline and chalky undertone are also characteristics I associate with the name Billecart-Salmon; and nutty hints of evolution are quite discrete, suggesting a younger wine. Metaphorically cooling; laid-back and soothing; yet offering stimulating refreshment and intrigue, this will probably be well worth following for another 4-6 years."