1998 Billecart-Salmon, Cuvée Nicolas François

1998 Billecart-Salmon, Cuvée Nicolas François

White, Drink now   White | Drink now | Champagne Billecart-Salmon | Code: 937639 | 1998 | France > Champagne > Brut Champagne | Champagne Blend | Medium-Full Bodied, Brut | 12.0 % alcohol


New To BBX

Bottle 6 x 75cl



See All Listings

Scores and Reviews



WA - The 1998 Cuvee Nicolas Francois Billecart (60% Pinot, 40% Chardonnay) is another beautiful wine. The aromas are especially captivating and highly suggestive of Pinot, but the Chardonnay seems to take center stage on the palate, where the fruit is highly expressive. Like the Blanc de Blancs, the wine saw 50% malolactic fermentation and only 5% of the wine was aged in oak as the estate was in its early days of using oak and wisely chose a moderate approach.

Billecart-Salmon, based in Mareuil-sur-Ay, makes wines in a style that is all about timeless elegance. These Champagnes are characterized by their supreme balance. All of the 2008 vins claires I tasted showed remarkable harmony and transparency of site. Much of the aromatic complexity of the wines can be attributed to a preference towards cold temperatures in fermentation, which keeps the wines fresh. The domaine uses Burgundian oak barrels for a portion of the wines.

The exact amount of batonnage and malolactic fermentation depend on the vintage. Prior to being bottled the wines are blended in a large steel tank to insure consistency, something the estate takes very seriously. In general the non-vintage wines receive 7-9 grams of dosage, while the vintage wines have 5-7 grams, depending on the year... The estate does not disclose disgorgement dates, but a code on the foil wrapping can be traced back to a date.
(Antonio Galloni  - Wine Advocate # 180 -Dec 2008)

The Story

Champagne Billecart-Salmon


Champagne Billecart-Salmon

Billecart-Salmon is one of the few remaining Champagne houses to be owned by the original family and was established in 1818 by Nicolas-François Billecart.

Most of Billecart-Salmon's fruit comes from a small vineyard holding, though this is supplemented with grapes bought in from the Marne Valley and the Montagne de Reims. Meticulous production techniques, from the use of their own cultured yeast to its long, slow, cool fermentation, ensure that the family has 100% control of production.

Billecart-Salmon is renowned for the quality of its delicate rosé, while the Brut Réserve (a blend of three vintages) is a beautifully harmonious and balanced wine. All have the ability to age very well.


Champagne Blend

Champagne Blend

Which grapes are included in the blend, and their proportion, is one of the key factors determining the style of most Champagnes. Three grapes are used - Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier.

26% of vineyards in Champagne are planted with Chardonnay and it performs best on the Côtes des Blancs and on the chalk slopes south of Epernay. It is relatively simple to grow, although it buds early and thus is susceptible to spring frosts. It produces lighter, fresher wines than those from Burgundy and gives finesse, fruit and elegance to the final blend. It is the sole grape in Blancs de Blancs, which are some of the richest long-lived Champagnes produced.

Pinot Noir accounts for nearly 40% of the plantings in Champagne and lies at the heart of most blends - it gives Champagne its body, structure, strength and grip. It is planted across Champagne and particularly so in the southern Aube district.

The final component is Pinot Meunier and this constitutes nearly 35% of the plantings. Its durability and resistance to spring frosts make the Marne Valley, a notorious frost pocket, its natural home. It ripens well in poor years and produces a soft, fruity style of wine that is ideal for blending with the more assertive flavours of Pinot Noir. Producers allege that Pinot Meunier lacks ageing potential, but this does not deter Krug from including around 15% of it in their final blends.


Brut Champagne

Brut denotes a dry style of Champagne (less than 15 grams per litre). Most Champagne is non-vintage, produced from a blend from different years. The non-vintage blend is always based predominately on wines made from the current harvest, enriched with aged wines (their proportion and age varies by brand) from earlier harvests, which impart an additional level of complexity to the end wine. Champagnes from a single vintage are labelled with the year reference and with the description Millésimé.

Non-vintage Champagnes can improve with short-term ageing (typically two to three years), while vintages can develop over much longer periods (five to 30 years). The most exquisite and often top-priced expression of a house’s style is referred to as Prestige Cuvée. Famous examples include Louis Roederer's Cristal, Moët & Chandon's Dom Pérignon, and Pol Roger's Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill.

Recommended Producers : Krug, Billecart Salmon, Pol Roger, Bollinger, Salon, Gosset, Pierre Péters, Ruinart

Storage Details
Storage in BB&R Warehouses

  Wines bought from Berry Bros. & Rudd can be stored
in our temperature controlled warehouses.
We can only accept orders for unmixed cases.
Storage Charges:
£12.00 (inc. VAT)
per case per annum
Customer Reserves For wines purchased In Bond,
Duty & VAT charges become payable upon withdrawing from your reserves.
BBX wines can only be bought In Bond.
More information on wine storage
£10.20 (inc. VAT)
per case per annum
for Cellar Plan Members
Customer Reviews
Questions And Answers