Summer sipping on the Thames with Billecart-Salmon 2006

Aug 13, 15 Summer sipping on the Thames with Billecart-Salmon 2006

Posted by in Champagne

For the past few years, a group of my friends and I get together and spend a (hopefully) sunny afternoon floating down the upper Thames, sharing our food and wine. As many of my friends are wine bloggers, of course, we have to show off with our special wine finds. This year was no exception. As I’m a big champagne lover, I brought along the Billecart-Salmon 2006 (amongst other wines) to share with my friends. It was a gorgeous day to be floating on the river and we had chosen a route that took us from Henley to Reading. As soon as we got underway, I popped open the Billecart-Salmon. The 2006 is an extra-brut dosage and is composed of 75% pinot noir with the remainder being chardonnay from the Cotes du Blancs. As we sipping along the river, I could hear words such as “creme brulee”, “vanilla”, “red apples”, “pamplemousse” and “spice” being bandied about the boat by my fellow drinkers. I have to agree, the champagne was all that and more, a rich a fine wine, with delicate bubbles and a long finish. A refreshing drink to have on a warm summer’s day floating down the Thames. It’s difficult to bring gourmet cuisine on a small boat but we did have some very good Scotch eggs and I have to say they went very well with the 2006 Billecart-Salmon, the champagne cutting through the rich sausage. A lovely way to spend the day and the 2006 Billecart-Salmon was a great way to kick off the cruise. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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I’m starting off Christmas Day with Billecart-Salmon brut blanc de blanc

Dec 19, 13 I’m starting off Christmas Day with Billecart-Salmon brut blanc de blanc

Posted by in Champagne

It’s almost time to break out the bubbly for Christmas morning. I don’t know about you but I always like to start off with a glass of champagne on the big day. Actually, I think champagne any day is a good idea but on Christmas Day, you can get more people to drink with you in the morning as it seems to be an anything goes kind of day. This year, I have a plethora of champagnes to choose from but I’ll probably go with a nice glass of Billecart Salmon brut blanc de blanc to start. I love blanc de blancs because they are so refreshing. Billecart’s brut b de b is no exception, having a delicacy and elegance that comes from the 100% chardonnay grapes used in the champagne. I visited the house of Billecart Salmon earlier this year and got a behind the scenes look at how they make their champagne. We also got to taste older vintages of their range, including some blanc de blancs and it was a delightful and tasty experience. I do enjoy trying older vintages but on Christmas morning, it’s probably best to stick with something crisp and delicate which you can only really get with a good champagne. Billecart-Salmon brut blanc de blanc is available at Selfridges, Berry Bros. & Rudd and other fine wine merchants. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Visiting The House of Billecart-Salmon Champagne

Jun 07, 13 Visiting The House of Billecart-Salmon Champagne

Posted by in Champagne, Travel

  Billecart-Salmon was one of the first quality champagnes I tried when I moved to England so when they invited me to visit the house and meet one of the family, Francois-Roland Billecart, I was happy to take them up on the trip. We stopped off in Paris first for lunch at Guy Savoy, where they feature Billecart-Salmon as their house champagne. Guy Savoy is a 3 Michelin starred restaurant and the meal was, understandably fantastic. A fresh, seasonal menu, paired with Billecart-Salmon was a great way to start off the trip. We started with the Blanc de Blancs Grande Cuvee non vintage, followed by the Vintage 2004 and we  finished with the Cuvee Nicolas Francois Billecart 1999 from carafe and not from carafe. Billecart-Salmon have designed their very own carafe, reflecting the shape of their bottles from the past. There is a difference when tasting the champagne from carafe. I find that the more wine-like qualities of the champagne come forward and although the bubbles are there, they are subdued. After a short 2 hour lunch, we hopped on the TGV and headed to Mareuil-sur-Ay and the house of Billecart-Salmon. The house was founded in 1818 and is still one of the few family owned houses in Champagne. Francois-Roland and his wife, Edith, now live in a half of the family house, the  other half used as accommodation for special guests. An elegant building, built from the tan coloured stones that are common in the region, the two story edifice is very welcoming and comfy, having the feel of old money, beautifully decorated, not ostentatious but tasteful. Over dinner we talked about their latest cuvee, the Sous Bois. This champagne is different in that it is vinified in oak barrels which gives it a very distinctive style. Francois -Roland believes that “in Champagne, they have reached a point where there is not a big difference in quality, it’s very important to find a new field” to appeal to consumers. However, he still wants to...

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Champagne cellar snapshot

May 14, 13 Champagne cellar snapshot

Posted by in Champagne, Travel

I took this cellar snapshot when I was in Champagne recently visiting Billecart-Salmon. There is 5 years worth of mold on the bottles. Just waiting for their day of disgorgement… Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Saturday Snapshot – sneak peak at Billecart-Salmon brut blanc de blancs 2004

Apr 20, 13 Saturday Snapshot – sneak peak at Billecart-Salmon brut blanc de blancs 2004

Posted by in Champagne, Saturday Snapshot

Spring has finally sprung and this week I was in Champagne again to visit the house of Billecart-Salmon. While I was there, we were fortunate to be the first outside of the maison to taste the 2004 brut Blanc de blancs. It hasn’t been released yet as Billecart-Salmon is one of the last champagne houses to release their 2004. They felt that their 2004 was not quite ready until now. The grapes for the blanc de blancs all come from the grand cru vineyards Avize, Cramant, Mesnil and Chouilly. After the light and fluffy mousse dissipated it was followed by a very fresh, aromatic and creamy nose. Tiny, fine, silky bubbles streamed to the top, I can watch those tiny bubbles all day, they are so mesmerizing but I wasn’t distracted for too long and took a sip. A silky smooth mouthful, the bubbles really do caress your palate on the way down. Full of grapefruit and pomelo on the palate, it is very fresh but ready to be drunk now- an excellent, well balanced champagne.  However, it is a lively 2004 and definitely has a few more years left in it. It was also just so tasty, that is the best way for me to describe it, a real delight to drink. I wish we could have taken it to lunch with us but we had to leave it with its compatriots at the cellar door. I felt lucky to be tasting it before its release and I’d say that it was well worth the wait. The Billecart-Salmon 2004 brut blanc de blancs will be available in June 2013. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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