Billecart-Salmon "Cuvée Nicolas Francois" Vintage Brut 2002 (Champagne, France) - [JS 98] [RP 97] [WE 96] [VM 96] [WS 95]

Billecart-Salmon "Cuvée Nicolas Francois" Vintage Brut 2002
(Champagne, France) - [JS 98] [RP 97] [WE 96] [VM 96] [WS 95]


Regular price $250.00 Sale price $218.98 Save $31.02
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JS98 RP97 WE96 VM96 WS95
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About the winery: 
The Billecart family has been living in Mareuil-sur-Ay since the 16th century. 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 take over the family wine estate. In 1818 he founded the house of Billecart-Salmon which now stands as the oldest continuously family owned and operated house in Champagne. It is currently managed by the seventh generation, Mathieu Roland-Billecart. The cellars are in the hands of "chef de cave" Florent Nys, who has worked under previous chef de cave Francois Domi since 2005.

One of the most distinctive aspects of Billecart-Salmon is their philosophy that an early harvest yields more elegant and delicate champagnes. They look for a strong acid structure rather than alcohol as a preservative and therefore, never harvest at higher than 10 degrees of potential alcohol.

Notes from the Winemaker:

This exceptional cuvee was created in 1964 as a tribute to the House's founder. It results from the blending of grand crus from the classified Cote 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 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.

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 (caramelized stonefruit, light tobacco) and embodied by the line of noble biscuity flavors. 

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

Ratings & Reviews



98 Points 
Rank #82 Top 100 Wines of 2016- James Suckling:
"  Very impressive depth and detail here. The freshness is staggering. Citrus and grilled-hazelnut aromas lead to a palate that has a very concentrated, slightly creamy and taut feel. Super long and dense with lemon curd, white peaches and a toasty build to the finish. Superb! Drink or hold." (July 2018)

97 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate:
"The 2002 Brut Cuvée Nicolas François was disgorged in January 2015 with four grams per liter dosage, and it's showing superbly, wafting from the glass with a complex bouquet that mingles confit citrus, peach and dried papaya with nuances of iodine, brioche and honeycomb. On the palate, it's full-bodied, broad and vinous, with a rich and layered core that's underpinned by serious structure and tension, concluding with a long and precise finish. This is one of the finest wines Billecart has released in the last decade, and it is well worth seeking out." - William Kelley (Aug 2019)

96 Points - Vinous Media:
"  The 2002 Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart is outrageously beautiful. The ripeness of the Chardonnay is front and center in a Champagne that delivers the goods, big-time. An infusion of apricot, orange peel, crème brûlée, chamomile, hazelnut and honey give the 2002 its racy, exotic personality. I enjoy it most with bottle age, but the 2002 is undeniably beautiful right now. The 2002 is a stunning NFB. The blend is 60% Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims and the Vallée de la Marne and 40% Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs, done partially in oak (20%). Dosage is 4 grams per liter." - Antonio Galloni (Nov 2020)

96 Points & Cellar Selection - Wine Enthusiast Magazine:
"With its ripe fruits, rich texture and layers of toast, this is a great wine. It shows the quality of the great 2002 vintage brilliantly. It's complex and concentrated with an array of mature fruit flavors that combine to a structured whole. It will improve with age, so drink this great Champagne through 2025 and perhaps longer." - Roger Voss (12/1/2013)

95 Points - Wine Spectator Magazine:

"There's a buoyant, almost ethereal quality to this elegant Champagne, offering a rich range of blackberry pâte de fruit, crystallized honey, grilled nut and oyster shell flavors, set on a fine, chalky mousse. Long and mouthwatering, with a clean, citrus-infused finish. Drink now through 2027. 1,500 cases imported." - AN (Nov 15, 2015)