30 Dec Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Billecart-Salmon NV Brut Nature
2020 is coming to an end and the final day of the year, December 31st, is also Champagne Day! An aptly named day, as many people will be opening up Champagne to ring in the new year. But, whether it is “Champagne Day” or any day of the week, I love to drink Champagne and the newest release from Billecart-Salmon is no exception. That is why the Billecart-Salmon NV Brut Nature is the Please The Palate wine of the week.
Billecart-Salmon is the oldest continuously family-owned and operated house in Champagne. Founded in 1818, more than 200 years ago, by Nicolas François Billecart and his wife Elisabeth Salmon, Billecart-Salmon is currently managed by the family’s seventh generation, brothers François and Antoine Roland-Billecart. I have had the pleasure and privilege to enjoy the wines of Billecart-Salmon in the past, but this was my first time trying the newly released Brut Nature.
Brut Nature, or Zero Dosage, is a term used to denote the driest style of Champagne. Brut Nature Champagne has less than three grams of residual sugar per liter of wine. The result is Champagne that is high in acidity and low in sugar.
The Billecart-Salmon NV Brut Nature is a blend of 30% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, and 40% Pinot Meunier. The grapes are fermented in stainless steel and aged on the lees for 48 months. The final blend consists of 50-60% reserve wines.
The wine is a clear pale gold and the bubbles filled the glass, quickly rising to the top. The nose is sharp with bright citrus, stone fruit, and mineral notes and a touch of yeast. On the palate, the wine is intensely crisp with chalky texture on the palate that softens the midpalate.
I enjoyed the Billecart-Salmon NV Brut Nature, which retails for $60, with a medium-hard cheese but it can also be enjoyed with a range of food, from sashimi to grilled scallops.