29 Dec Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Sous Bois NV
Holiday season is here! It is time to pop the bubbles! And just in time for Champagne Day, I am popping the Billecart-Salmon Brut Sous Bois Champagne, the Please The Palate wine of the week.
Founded in 1818 by Nicolas François Billecart and his wife Elisabeth Salmon, Billecart-Salmon is the oldest continuously family-owned and operated house in Champagne and known for wines of finesse and elegance. With 100 hectares of estate grapes, the majority of the grapes come from a radius of 20km around Epernay, where the Grand Crus of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay co-exist, in the ethereal vineyards of the Montagne de Reims, the Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Blancs.
In addition to the Brut Rosé, Brut Reserve, Blanc de Blancs, Brut Nature, Vintage, and Demi-Sec, Billecart-Salmon also produces the Brut Sous Bois, a Champagne fermented entirely in aged oak barrels, a rare thing for a larger Champagne house. One third each of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier, there is partial malolactic fermentation and 30-35% reserve wines. The wine is aged on the lees for 6 years.
Billecart-Salmon 7th Generation and CEO Mathieu Roland-Billecart recommends decanting the Brut Sous Bois in order for the wine to breathe and to fully express itself. In the decanter, you can see the rich yellow color with golden highlights and the persistent perlage.
The Champagne has aromas of apple, lemon, stone fruits, as well as toasty and mineral notes. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied with a linear structure yet also a fleshiness on the midpalate and a chalky finish. It is a beautifully elegant, harmonious and rich Champagne that I enjoyed with La Tur, a super creamy, soft Italian cheese made from a mix of cow’s, sheep’s, and goat’s milk.
The label on the bottle has a natural wood label, setting it apart from typical labels, and represents the fact that the Champagne is fermented and aged in oak. The Billecart-Salmon Brut Sous Bois Champagne retails for $90 and is a rather impressive non-vintage Brut Champagne. And, for the holiday, the Brut Sous Bois comes accompanied by a limited edition mouth-blown carafe. for $229.