Classy Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Nature
The term Brut Nature indicates that the dosage, added when the wine is bottled, contains no sugar. Most NV Brut Champagne receives a dosage of around 8 grams per litre (g/l) of sugar to balance the wine’s acidity.Around 50 to 60% of this Champagne was made up of reserve wines from past vintages, although their influence was greater than the percentages indicate.
I am not sure when a sweetener was first added to the dosage in Champagne, but for many years all Champagne was Brut Nature. In that sense, the Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Nature NV is a piece of history. It offers a glimpse into the past.
A near-perfect balance of acidity surprised me. Zero-dosage wines, as they are sometimes called, can sometimes have exuberant acidity but that was not the case with this wine. Around 50 to 60% of this Champagne was made up of reserve wines from past vintages, although their influence was greater than the percentages indicate.
The mix of grape varieties and subregions for this wine are as follows:
Pinot noir (30%) from the Montagne de Reims and the Grande Vallée de la Marne, chardonnay (30%) sourced from the best Crus in the Champagne region, and pinot meunier (40%) from the Vallée de la Marne and the southern slopes of Epernay.
The wine spent 48 months en tirage. It is a fine, creamy Champagne with grapefruit, lemon curd, wildflowers and brioche flavours. A classy wine with a crisp, dry and lingering finish. (NZD $92.99)