Remarkably, this NV blend has remained unchanged since 1945 and is made up from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. Billecart’s NV Cuvée is highly regarded among Champagne aficionados – Jancis Robinson rates it alongside Krug and Robert Parker consistently marks their Champagnes in the nineties.
Billecart-Salmon own a high proportion of the vineyards that produce the grapes for their Champagnes and those that they do not own, they have long established relations with the growers sometimes going back three generations. This understanding of which vineyards produce what sort of character of grapes over such a long period is invaluable in maintaining consistency of style and quality. Larger Champagne houses often have to rely on purchasing grapes and must on the open market to meet demand and the same degree of care is simply not possible, indeed, if Billecart ever have must or juice that is deemed not acceptable, it is sold to other less demanding producers. Likewise, Billecart only use the free run juice and first pressings to make their Champagnes, with the second and third pressings, which produce coarser flavours, again being sold on.
Whilst Billecart Salmon are a long established house, they have been quick to marry new technology with tradition, with computerised temperature controlled fermentation tanks alongside barrel ageing facilities and their own perfectly formed ageing cellars. Their quest is to produce Champagnes of great elegance and restraint with slow ageing abilities, developing dignified nuance and complexity. To that end, their NV blend is aged for up to four years, much longer than is legally required