Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose NV

I admire these Champagnes for their trademark crystalline purity and exceptional sense of balance. ANTONIO GALLONI

The Billecart-Salmon house style is defined by class, elegance, and a sublime freshness to the wines. Long fermentations at cold temperatures with no malolactic fermentation are the rule at this small, family-owned property in Mareuil-sur-Ay. ANTONIO GALLONI

Billecart-Salmon is discreetly but significantly evolving. Since 2010, a new cellar has housed some 400 barrels for vinification and élevage, and since 2018, another cellar is home to oak foudres retaining some 80,000 liters of reserve wine. Meanwhile, Billecart’s wines are spending longer and longer sur lattes, and fruit sourcing is changing—with more grand cru fruit replacing premier cru fruit—while volumes remain the same. Based on the trials underway in their emblematic Clos Saint-Hilaire, the next frontier will be the vineyards. This visit and tasting with Mathieu Roland-Billecart and chef des caves Florent Nys underscored the impact of these quiet but important changes, and it’s clear that this is a house that’s going from strength to strength. WILLIAM KELLEY, Wine Advocate

Of all the grand houses of champagne billecart stands out for the refinement and elegance of its wines. Of all the bottling produced here none embody this more than the rose. It has stood the test of time and the swinging pendulum of fashion or fads, remaining one of Champagne’s most iconic and well-loved wines.

This kind of legacy doesn’t occur by chance. Champagne Billecart has maintained its style and its quality over more years than I’ve been drinking and they have ensured that their reference point, the wine that most consumers judge them on, their centrepiece in a remarkable portfolio of gems, the cornerstone of their reputation, maintains its position as, arguably, the most beloved champagne rose on the market.

If you ask any serious lover of Champagne to name their reference point Rose, Billecart will appear on every list. I love it for it’s bright, snappy, energetic fruit and crystalline feel to the long and pristinely framed palate. Everything about the wine oozes sophistication, from it’s iconic bottle and packaging through to the, all important, wine which is a model of poise, finesse and elegance. A wine that is loved by all and deserves its reputation.

Like all truly great estates Billecart hasn’t rested on it’s laurels and let it’s glamorous reputation carry them. Rather they continue to make small improvements and minor tweaks to ensure that, while the signature house style is retained, the quality continues to improve where possible. New sources of fruit, some larger format wood to house their reserve stock for blending, just some of the shifts that may not seem huge but in a house of this calibre it is the 1% that keep them at the pinnacle of the region.

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