Grapes: 50% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Meunier
Region: France, Champagne
In 1818, Nicolas François Billecart and his wife Elisabeth Salmon founded the house of Billecart-Salmon in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, which now stands as the oldest continuously family-owned and operated house in Champagne. The estate is currently managed by the family’s seventh generation, brothers François and Antoine Roland-Billecart, while the cellars lie in the hands of renowned “chef de cave” François Domi.
Billecart-Salmon owns a total of 30 ha of vineyards. Eleven of these lie in the Vallée de la Marne split between 4 ha of Grand Cru in Aÿ and Premier Cru in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, along with 7 ha in the village of Damery. In the Côte des Blancs the family owns 4 ha of Grand Cru vineyards in the villages of Chouilly, Avize and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. In addition, Billecart-Salmon leases 60 ha of vineyards across the region and also buys fruit from 40 growers with whom they have close, longterm relationships.
The house operates on the philosophy that an early harvest yields more elegant, delicate Champagnes. They look for strong acid structure rather than alcohol as a preservative, and therefore, never harvest at higher than 10° potential alcohol. They strive to carry out their harvest with minimal grape handling and transit time by utilizing four press houses on the property.
"This is clearly one of my favorite rosé Champagnes out there. I love the freshness and clarity in the wine, from its light pink color to crisp acidity and minerally, chalky character on the finish. It's full-bodied and dense yet agile with amazing length and beauty. Refreshing and vibrant. As it warms, it gives you delicate pinot noir character like Aloxe-Corton or another excellent appellation." 95 Points, James Suckling