billecart-salmon, nicolas francois 2006
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
COMMENTARY: Billecart-Salmon is on my shortlist of five all-time favorite Champagne producers. I'll let you guess the other four. The 2006 Cuvée Nicolas François provides an exceptional savoring experience. TASTING NOTES: This wine exhibits complex and alluring aromas and flavors of frisky and mature fruit. Enjoy it in a special moment with your significant other, and make sure you get at least half of the bottle. (Tasted: February 14, 2020, San Francisco, CA)
Fine and creamy, this harmonious Champagne layers a firm backbone of bright acidity with a lovely range of orange pâte de fruit, marzipan, lime blossom and toasted brioche notes. Tightly meshed and racy, with a long, lightly spiced finish.
Fresh honey and bright poached apples with dried flowers, cherry pastry and richness that flows to the palate. A ripe array of white peaches, baked cherry pastry and a complex, smooth fleshy build in texture. White peaches and brioche to close. Drinking well now, but it will deliver plenty in the next decade on cork.
Named after the founder of the house, Nicolas François Billecart (who married Elisabeth Salmon), this wine is now at its peak. It is poised between fresh apple fruits and broader, riper maturity. This balance gives a ripe wine hinting at toast and almonds while still with a dry aftertaste.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2006 Brut Cuvée Nicolas François is showing superbly, bursting with aromas of warm bread, citrus oil, wild berries, smoke and gingerbread. On the palate, it's full-bodied, broad and voluminous, with a concentrated and fleshy core, chalky dry extract and lively acids despite the vintage, concluding with a saline finish. It was disgorged in April 2018 with 5.5 grams per liter dosage, and it's the usual blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, derived from Verzenay, Ambonnay, Ay and Mareuil-sur-Ay, as well as the Grands Crus of the Côte de Blancs, emphasizing Mesnil.
The 2006 Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine, but it needs time to be at its best. I am surprised by how tightly wound it is. But that only makes me think what it might develop into with time in the cellar. Lemon confit, white flowers, mint, crushed rocks and sage meld together in a bright, crystalline Champagne endowed with terrific purity. The 2006 is 60% Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims and the Vallée de la Marne and 40% Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs, mostly done in steel, with just a touch of oak, around 5%. Dosage is 6 grams per liter. Drinking window: 2020 - 2032