I love the story about how Champagne came to being. The climate near Reims is cold with even the summers being very mild but with good daylight hours. The grapes ripen slowly and are normally picked in autumn just before the big chill kicks in. What would have happened back in the time when the area was establishing itself was that the temperature drop would have resulted in the yeast and ferments slowing down to a standstill while the yeast goes into hibernation. Many wine-makers would have bottled, what they thought was a still wine, only to find that when the weather warmed up they would have wine bottles exploding around them. The bottles would have needed to change to accommodate the bubbles and a new closure developed. Now bubbles are opened on a mass scale and I have to congratulate the leaders in Champagne for persisting with the development in the early days.
Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve NV
My wife sucked down half the bottle before I could put the first sip to my mouth so I was thinking this was going to be good. The wine has precision and drive with plenty of champagne goodness. To start with moments of roasted nuts and glazed sweet bread emerge before transitioning to strawberry meringue, lemon rind and cut quartz. The flavours hold long enough to be recognised before moving onto the next delightful experience. There is depth of flavour and structure to keep this going for a while but I would recommend drinking this now and just buying another bottle if you run out.
Importer: Domaine Wine Shippers