Posts Tagged ‘Billecart-Salmon’

Dinner with Cuvee Elisabeth Salmon, Unico, Evangile and more

March 15, 2016 Leave a comment


Met my usual group of wine aficionados again last night for dinner and had some amazing wines. Started with this sublime vintage rose Champagne that I remember having last time about 1-2 years ago, but from a different vintage, 2000 if I remember correctly. We had all Champagne’s from the Zalto white wine glass that I find it complements a lot the way Champagne tastes like. Probably the only issue here would be that it does not stimulate enough the bubble persistence as the regular sparkling glass does. As aromas are concerned, I believe it focuses very well the full aromatic profile of the Champagne.

2002 Champagne Billecart-Salmon Cuvee Elisabeth Salmon Rose has a light coppery color with small and rich bubbles. This is a Champagne to keep in the glass and smell it over and over as it changes its aromas constantly. It starts fresh and classy with small red berries, dough and a salty seashell aroma, and, with air, it develops pomegranate and pink grapefruit. Gracious but powerful in the mouth, it has a strong backbone of acidity and discreet tannin, with layers of flavors that build like a skyscraper on the palate, creating a sense of immersion and depth. Long finish that goes on for good seconds. This is a very elegant and classy rose that I absolutely love. (96/100)


First red of the night was a high roller that got awarded a perfect 100 points by the Wine Spectator. The 2005 Chateau L’Evangile was decanted for about 2 hours before being consumed. The color is dark red garnet. Nose is already expressive and very complex, with a ripe but fresh profile. Lavish aromas of plums, sour cherry, dark chocolate and ink build a complex aromatic profile that just continues to develop new aromas in the glass. Silky smooth on the palate already in spite of its high velvety tannin structure, it is profound and rich, with lush flavors of chocolate and black cherry, gravel minerality and paprika. Long finish, combines fruit and bitter sweet chocolate in the lingering aftertaste. It disappeared from the glasses fairly quickly. (97/100)

A friend said that today it is at its peak and there is not more to develop from now on. I believe it will be on this plateau for many years to come and that it will develop into an even more interesting wine. Future will tell.


2010 seems to be THE vintage for Brunello di Montalcino. I believe most of the wines coming from reliable producers will develop and surprise wine drinkers in time. It should be a strong addition for the cellar.

Pieve Santa Restituta Sugarille Brunello di Montalcino 2010 from Gaja is a youthful and powerful wine today. It sports a deep red garnet color. Even after 3 h in a decanter the wine continues to be shy in revealing its full aromatic profile. There are of course fruity aromas of black cherry, sour cherry and blackberry, well complemented by spices and blue flowers, but you can feel that not everything is disclosed yet. On the palate it is powerful, with assertive velvety tannin well dressed into rich layers of red and black fruit and spices, with fresh aromatic herbs that give depth. Long finish, tannin is assertive again and indicates patience is required. (94/100)

IMG_20160314_215612Also decanted for about 3-4 h, the 2007 Vega-Sicilia Unico is a wine to keep on smelling and discovering in the glass. It has a deep red garnet color, and since my last encounter this bottle shows a slightly different aromatic profile. Yes the oak is still there but not that prominent, and there’s a new layer of dill and orange peel that did not feel it before. Rich and powerful on the palate. (94/100)


Two more Champagne’s were served. A 2003 Dom Perignon Rose that has a deep red onion peel color with abundant mousse, a rich and vinous mouth-feel. It feels denser and has a completely different personality compared to the previous Cuvee Elisabeth Salmon. If that was ethereal, the Dom Perignon Rose is robust and swings in full throttle. (95-96/100)


Last wine of the night and a first time for me was the 2004 Champagne Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame. It has a light yellow lemon color, with tiny and rich bubbles. Fresh but complex on the nose, it has lots of citrus fruit, brioche and nuts, with a rich palate of pear and Granny smith apples, mouth watering acidity and appealing elegance. Long and refreshing citrus fruit finish. (94/100)

That was the end of a fun and engaging dinner with friends.

Not an average wine-dinner

October 29, 2013 1 comment


I was recently invited to attend the anniversary dinner organized by a good friend celebrating his birthday. A wine geek himself and big fan of red Italian and prestige wines, it was no surprise that the red wines tasted were all from Italy. With one exception the rest of the wines were all a first encounter for me.

Tuna tartar, fresh oysters and lobster salad were served with 2004 Cristal Champagne. A pale yellow lemon color with smooth and rich mousse, that opened up in stages on the nose and palate. Fresh dough, citrus fruit and a hint of crushed stones form the medium(+) intense and well developed nose. Medium(+) body, very acidic on the first sip, it opens up with air and becomes rounder, mellower and more enjoyable. Medium(+) finish, with bright citrus fruit, Granny Smith apple acidity and lingering hints of minerals. (92/100)


Served with fresh pasta with butter and white truffles it was 2009 Chateau Smith Haut-Lafitte Blanc (Pessac-Leognan). It ranks in the first Top 3 white wines I had this year. The color is pale yellow lemon. The nose shows great Pessac-Leognan typicality with generic smoked vanilla and tropical fruits, but it starts up gradually in intensity. The first nose is shy and it takes about 2 hours to fully reveal its intensity. It’s a different story on the palate: the level of flavor concentration it’s outstanding, you can literally taste fresh vanilla, smoke, fresh tangerines, mango and papaya, pears, peaches and white apricots. Flawless mouth-feel, medium acidity (that’s a surprise and probably that’s why is so enjoyable now), balanced and intense. Long finish, fresh and flamboyant, with plenty of exotic and tropical fruits. I fell in love with it. (97-98/100)


Shifting to reds, the menu moved towards red meat: medium-rare tuna steak with grilled vegetables. Served in parallel there were 2006 Trinoro from Tenuta di Trinoro and 2007 Masseto from Ornellaia. 2006 Trinoro has the nose and mouth-feel of an Amarone. The color is deep dark red garnet. The nose is medium(+) intense, well developed and rich, with unusual Amarone like aromas: chocolate, rum and over ripe black fruits: blackberry, black cherry, cranberry and leather. The taste is full bodied, rich and concentrated, with medium polished tannins, with juicy blackberry, rum and chocolate. Medium(+) finish, black fruit liquor and sweet feel. (89-90/100)


2007 Masseto is a totally different ball game. Tasted blind this could go for a sunny Pomerol. The color is medium red garnet color. Pronounced, elegant, well developed and complex nose, it takes time to open up. A mix of black cherry, plums, chocolate, cedar and graphite are just a few aromas of the complex nose. Full bodied, yet supple and elegant, the wine is a  monument of balance and complexity. The high level of polished tannins, the richness and concentration are outstanding. The 15% alcohol is just a number in this case, because the wine has freshness, elegance and a weightless mouth-feel. Long and pronounced finish, with fresh red fruits and coffee. (98/100)


A 2008 Trinoro was also served to see if it has a similar profile of an Amarone like 2006. The color is deep red garnet. The nose is well developed, pronounced, intense and sweet. The ripe black fruit profile is there but manages to preserve freshness and hints of coffee. Full body, high polished and sweet tannins, sweet and juicy blackberry and cranberry, dark chocolate, plums, but still fresh. Long finish, lingering juicy black fruits. (93/100)


Dinner was finished with a NV Billecart-Salmon Rose to wash the palate. Pink salmon color, intense mousse. Biscuit, bright red fruits and grapefruit, fresh and citrus palate, medium finish. (90-91/100)



In saptamana dedicata femeilor va propunem o seara cu degustare de Champagne

February 26, 2013 Leave a comment


România nu este o țară ușoară pentru bărbați. După un vestic Valentine’s Day și un tipic românesc Dragobete, la începutul lui martie trebuie din nou să arătăm afecțiunea față de doamne și domnișoare. Dar nu disperați, Nicușor Cazan aka “Romanian Wine Events” și Cosmin Grozea alias “From Grapes to Wine” vă sar bărbătește în ajutor:

Seara cu sampanii fine

Mergem pe rețeta clasică și delicioasă a șampaniilor franțuzești și adăugăm un pic de bun gust românesc. Așa că ce vă propunem este:

  • Champagne Veuve Fourny Brut Nature Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru La Fracheur (92/100 R. Parker, 4**** 17,5/20 Decanter Magazine Juillet 2011)
  • Champagne Veuve Fourny Cuvee R Extra Brut Vertus L’Opulence (93/100 R. PARKER)
  • Champagne Veuve Fourny Rose Premier Cru Brut Vertus La Subtilite (93/100 R. Parker)
  • Champagne Henri Giraud Hommage a Francois Hemart Ay Grand Cru (93/100 R. Parker)
  • Champagne Bollinger Rose NV (WS 93, WE 91, CT 90, ST 90, Jancis Robinson 17/20, Decanter 18/20)
  • Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose NV (Gilbert & Gaillard 96/100, ST 92, WS 92, WE 92, Decanter 19.5/20)
  • Știrbey Spumant Crâmpoșie Selecționată

(Legenda: WS – Wine Spectator, WE – Wine Enthusiast, RP – Robert Parker, ST – Stephen Tanzer, JD – Jamie Goode, CT –

Șampania trebuie asortată cu mâncăruri fine așa că Restaurantul Dada se întrece pe sine și propune aperitive savuroase (da, acel restaurant Dada cu expoziție de colecții vestimentare și accesorii, adică genți):

Tartar de somon fresh pe ciupercă asezonată cu ierburi provençale

Tartar de ton cu măr, busuioc fresh ușor picant

Tartar de sardină, sfeclă și dulceață de clementine

Degustarea va avea loc joi, 7 martie de la ora 19:30, la Restaurantul Dada (Strada Matei Voievod 94 bis). Sunt 12 locuri disponibile și fiecare costă 285 lei, sumă care include șampaniile, aperitivele și prezența noastră agreabilă.

Rezervări la +40 722 141 879 (Nicușor) sau +40 723 240 102 (Cosmin)

Câteva cuvinte despre șampanii:

Am ales Veuve Fourny pentru că este creata de un producător mic și artizanal din Champagne. Șampaniile lor sunt produse din vițe de vie clasate pe cea mai de sus treaptă din Vertus iar creatorul lor are inteligența de a lăsa terroir-ul să vorbească. În cazul Cuvee R dozajul (amestecul de vin proaspăt și sirop de zahar) este aproape zero, rezultând o șampanie autentică, expresie de puritate și vigoare a solului din care provine. Vinul este fermentat și maturat în butoaie mici de stejar, rezultatul final fiind o șampanie plină, opulentă și extrem de interesantă.


Henri Giraud este produsă și maturată asemenea unui vin alb din Burgundia de cea mai bună calitate. Provine din parcele de vie clasificate Grand Cru și este maturată timp de 6 luni în baricuri de stejar. Se folosește același tip de stejar ca și în cazul șampaniei Dom Perignon. Rezultatul este o șampanie care combină efervescența unui spumant cu bogația unui vin alb.


Vă propunem Bollinger nu doar pentru că suntem fani James Bond sau pentru că știm cât de mult îl apreciază doamnele pe Daniel Craig. Ne place Bollinger pentru că vinurile sunt realizate cu atenție și migală, producătorul folosind vinuri maturate în baricuri de stejar chiar și pentru șampaniile Non-Vintage.


Ne place Billecart Salmon pentru ca este detinut de aceeasi familie care a fondat afacerea in 1818. Sampania Cuvee Nicolas-Francois Billecart 1959 a castigat primul loc intr-un concurs in care au intrat 150 dintre cele mai bune si mai fine sampanii produse in secolul 20 devansand Krug, Dom Perignon sau Cristal in topul preferintelor juratilor profesionisti. Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose NV este o sampanie de gastronomie care suntem convinsi ca va va cuceri imediat.


Dorim să dăm o notă de autenticitate românească, așa că am inclus în selecția noastră și unul dintre vinurile spumante unice de la noi: Crâmpoșia Selecționată de la Prince Stirbey, singura de-acest fel din lume, creată de Oliver Bauer la Drăgășani.

Puteti descarca invitatia cu toate informatiile de aici:

Wine-dinner with Billecart-Salmon

December 11, 2012 3 comments


I attended a wine-dinner with Billecart-Salmon Champagne last week at La Bonne Bouche restaurant in the Old Center organized by Vinimondo (the importer). Mr Denis Roland-Billecart was present in Bucharest and presented four wines that are included in Vinimondo’s portfolio of imports. The event brought together about 10-12 people only and it was a lovely dinner filled with plenty of interesting information about the history and the wines made by Billecart-Salmon, but also fun and good joy.

Billecart-Salmon is a Negociant-Manipulant (meaning merchant-distributor), still family owned. They purchase the bulk of the grapes they need from dozens of growers. They typically blend wines from different vintages, and vineyards, to produce house style wines that consumers can be confident will be virtually the same each year. They also own a few Pinot Noir vineyards.

Billecart-Salmon produces around 2 Millions bottles each year and 25% is sold on the domestic market in France. The rest goes out for export. According to Mr Roland-Billecart the Champagne consumption on the global level dipped 25-30% in 2008, but grew back about 40% the following year and has been on a positive trend ever since.

We had a 6 course menu prepared by an Italian chef that has a 2 star Michelin restaurant in Italy and is temporarily cooking at La Bonne Bouche. So, if you want to enjoy some interesting food you might want to have lunch or dinner at La Bonne Bouche as soon as possible, as it is not clear how long this Italian chef will cook there.

The menu consisted of: octopus with green asparagus, potatoes and balsamic reduction / tartar of tuna, salmon and seabass / risotto with seafood /  grilled tuna in white sauce / cold lobster salad / dessert: creme brulee, tiramisu and mousse de chocolat.

We started with Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve, the NV Champagne that represents the house style. Medium color, citrus fruit and autolysis on the nose, yeasty, with citrus fruit, pear and minerals on the palate; medium body, low dosage, medium plus long finish, refreshing acidity. A very nice Champagne, balanced and rewarding. One of my favorites for the evening. (90-91/100)


Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose is a Champagne designed for gastronomy. Light pink colored with good effervescence and tiny bubbles. This seems fuller in the mouth and tannins mark their presence. The nose shows yeast, roses, cherry, strawberry and raspberry jam but without the sweetness. Elegant and creamy on the palate, with long finish. This sparkling wine needs food. (91-92/100)


Billecart-Salmon Brut Sous Bois is fermented and aged 100% in 2-3 years old barrels. This is a massive Champagne. Medium yellow colored, it shows spicy oak on the nose, with roasted almonds and sweet yellow apple. Mouth filling, luscious flavors on the palate, showing tannins, bold, with firm structure. Long finish, spicy and ripe yellow fruit. A totally different style, opulent and restless at this present stage. (90/100)


Billecart-Salmon Vintage 2004 is elegant and shows great tension on the palate. It has great potential to develop and has reserves of flavors, with sharp acidity, a strong mineral backbone and enough tension to make you imagine a constricted spring when you sip it. Long finish, fresh citrus fruit. 2004 was a great vintage in Champagne. My absolute favorite for the evening. (92-93/100)

It was a very enjoyable 4 hours dinner and the Champagne is great.

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