2002 Billecart-Salmon Nicolas-Francois

Champagne, Champagne/sparkling wine FRANCE
Wine Style
Dominant Grape
Pinot Noir
Closure Style
drink or keep
Bottle Size
Case Quantity
Wine Score
***, Peter Liem, champagneguide.net, Nov 2014
93 points, John Gilman, viewfromthecellar.com, 2014
97 points, James Suckling, jamessuckling.com, 2014 18.5 points, Jancis Robinson, jancisrobinson.com, July 2019 95+? points, points, Stephan Reinhardt, rob
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2002 Billecart-Salmon Nicolas-Francois

Media Reviews

Peter Liem

A blend of 60 percent pinot noir and 40 percent chardonnay, this demonstrates a wonderful balance between richness and refinement—while it certainly shows the ripeness of the vintage, it thrives on a sophisticated finesse, feeling sleek, vibrant and kinetic. Its enlivened further by an intensely chalky minerality that expands on the finish, and its aromas persist with length, detail and poise. This is impressive, and the finest version of this cuvée in quite some time. Last tasted. 11/14 ***

(*** Three stars indicates a champagne of the highest class, demonstrating a completeness and expression of character that places it among the very finest wines within its context. Needless to say, these wines are uncommon.)

John Gilman

The 2002 Cuvée Nicolas-François is still a fairly young wine, but at this early stage, it looks likely to be one of the top recent vintages of this bottling. The wine is still quite primary in its aromatic profile, offering up scents of green apple, quince, stony m inerality, fresh pineapple, a touch of nutmeg and bread dough. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, crisp and quite tightly-knit, with a good core of fruit, fine mousse and very good grip on the focused and long finish. This still needs a few years to blossom, but should prove to be very good indeed. 2018-2035+. 93 points

James Suckling

This has amazing clarity with sliced pear, mineral, apple, hints of cream and perfume. It`s tight, subtle and shy on the nose. Full body, yet very fresh and precise with layers of ultra-fine tannins and a long, long finish. 60% pinot noir and 40% chardonnay; 20% fermented in barrel and 20% no malo. All about intensity, finesse and focus. So structured and firm - it has the structure of grand cru like Batard-Montrachet. 97pts

Jancis Robinson

Deeper gold than the 2006. Very dense and firm with lots of further ageing potential. 18.5 points

Stephan Reinhardt

Disgorged in April 2016, after 13 years on the lees in bottle, Billecart-Salmon`s recent release of the 2002 Millésime Brut Cuvée Nicolas François is an amazing wine for lovers of matured, pure and spicy Champagnes. This is a blend of 60% Pinot Noir (from premier and grand crus of the Montagne de Reims and the Grande Vallée de la Marne) and 40% Chardonnay (from the Côte des Blancs), with 20% vinified in oak barrels. It opens with a deep, rich, intense, pure and chalky bouquet with ripe, yellow-fleshed stone fruits, citrus fruits and beautiful bottle maturity. This is quite mature compared to the 2002 Clos Saint-Hilaire, and this might be due to the cork, which came out of the bottle neck far too easily. This 2002 is rich but more vinous now than the bright and highly delicate 2006. The palate is pretty intense, dense and viscous, while the finish is refined and pure, with vibrant freshness and gastronomic grip. It is slightly drying, though. This is a very complex, round and intense 2002 with very fine bubbles... 95+?

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