2008 is an extraordinary example that ranks among the best of all time for this cuvee and is one of the top buys for Grand Marque Champagne this vintage. These are the last bottles we have, which are due to arrive next week and are available at our original release pricing. A more recent note by Galloni below: this is an incredible bottle not to miss and a benchmark for Billecart-Salmon.
The 2008 Cuvee Nicolas Francois has just been released and is one of the last of the 2008 grand marque Champagnes to be released. Created in 1964 as a tribute to the house founder and sourced from some of the top villages in Champagne. 2008 is a blend of 60% Pinot Noir from the Premier and grand crus from the villages of Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, Aÿ, Ambonnay, Bouzy, Verzenay, and Verzy with 40% Chardonnay from Mesnil, Chouilly, Cramant, and Vertus. The juice is partially vinified in oak and is aged on the lees for at least ten years. 2008 saw a bit of a lower dosage than usual for this cuvee, and this is dosed at 2.9 grams which is one of the lowest ever and the perfect pairing to this great vintage. 2008 is a legendary vintage for Champagne, and naturally, this release has the potential to be the greatest bottle of Cuvee Nicolas Francois of all time. This is going to be a seriously complex and deep example of this Champagne with stunning tension and intensity coupled with elegance and pinpoint precision. This is going to be a vintage that has it all, from incredible purity of fruit with beautiful minerality to excellent richness and vibrancy. Billecart knows what they have here, and that's why the price has gone up slightly from the previous release, but we have a great number on this new release, and right now, they are the only bottles available in the USA.
James Suckling 97 points! "Lovely precision and drive to this with aromas of lemon curd, brioche, praline, apricots, pomelos, mandarin zest and salted caramel. It’s held together by a sharp, citrusy backbone of acidity, balanced with a fine, silky mousse. Both structure and softness here. Citrus fruit brightness on a beautifully elegant and seamless finish."
Antonio Galloni 96 points! "The 2008 Brut Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart is an electric, nervy Champagne that very much reflects the style of the year. Crushed rocks, mint, spice, dried herbs, hazelnut, lemon peel and marzipan are all beautifully laced together. The 2008 is just entering its first plateau of maturity, making it a fine choice for drinking now and over the next two decades, possibly more. The blend id 60% Pinot Noir (from Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, Ambonnay, Bouzy, Verzy and Verzenay) and 40% Chardonnay (from Mesnil, Chouilly and Cramant). It's a terrific effort, although I must add that a recent visit made it pretty clear that even better things lie ahead. Dosage is 4 grams per liter. (Drink between 2023-2038)"
Wine Advocate (William Kelley) 96 points! "The 2008 Brut Cuvée Nicolas François was disgorged during the third quarter of 2022 with less than three grams per liter. It has a delicate, pure, clean bouquet with aromas of orchard fruits, spring flowers, honey and licorice, with hints of brioche and pastry with aeration. Medium to full-bodied, chiseled and crystalline, with racy acids and a chalky texture, the palate is tense and the finish is long, penetrating and salty. It exhibits perfect Billecart style, yet tension is present, a sign of the vintage. It is a blend of 60% Pinot Noir (sourced from Aÿ, Mareuil and Verzenay) and 40% Chardonnay from Mesnil, Chouilly and Cramant, and it matured 83% in tanks and 17% in old oak barrels."