Why Buy: Vintage Champagnes can be as majestic, and as ageworthy, as top wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, or Barolo, and this trio from the small, cult hit, sommelier-favorite Billecart-Salmon (a 98-pointer from the 2007 vintage, and a 97-pointer and 96-pointer from 2012) is resounding proof. These are wines of extraordinary maturity and grace, with all the balance, elegance, and finesse that this grand marque has long embodied.


The Legend: In 1999, the Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart 1959 was chosen "Champagne of the Millennium" by a committee of experts at a blind tasting in Stockholm that included 150 vintages from the world's top champagne producers. Second place? Its 1961 vintage.


What They're Saying: James Suckling reviewed all three expressions, and was dazzled. "Beautifully complex and mineral," he wrote of the 98-point Le Clos Saint Hilaire 2007, a wine that delivers "plenty of strength" yet remains "elegant." The 97-point Cuvée Elisabeth 2012 stood out to him for its "delicious yeasty and spicy undertones," its "excellent density and focus," and its "long, chalky and salty" finish. The Cuvée Louis 2012 earned 96 points, impressing him with its "mouth-watering and fantastic structure, its "balance and creamy" profile, and its "very fine and silky bubbles."


The History: Nicolas François Billecart and Élisabeth Salmon launched their estate in 1818, in the little town of Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, deep in the heart  of Champagne. It didn't take long for them to establish their reputation as one of the most respected names in the region, but the next phase of their development was the crucial one, the one that set the house on its present course: when they became a trusted, beloved brand, and endeared themselves to fans all over the world for the exacting quality and unerring consistency of their wines. The great English wine writer Tom Hyland has referred to Billecart-Salmon as the house that opts for "finesse over brute strength," and this is not just true, but also key to their timeless appeal. At a time when many Champagne houses are embracing a richer style, Billecart-Salmon stands out even more for the freshness and vivacity of its wines. Over the past decade, the family has made significant investments in the vineyards and in the cellar, and these seemed to have brought a new edge and energy to the winemaking.


Our Tasting Notes:

* Le Clos Saint Hilaire 2007 is a single-parcel Pinot Noir, 100% of which was vinified in oak barrels, with no malolactic fermentation. It was disgorged in May of 2023. All that long-aging has not dimmed its vivid and expressive aromatics – this has a striking freshness and energy, to go along with a complex, savory palate that compels you to keep drinking. Its tight, fine bubbles are elegance itself. Gorgeous.

* We encountered much the same joyous, vibrant freshness in the Cuvée Elisabeth 2021, a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Not that this is a one-note wonder; on the contrary. We loved its effortless weave of yeasty complexity, textural depth, and razor-sharp clarity.

* The Cuvée Louis 2012 is a Blanc de Blancs, with soft, almost delicate bubbles and the kind of minerality and laser-sharp definition that delivers excitement in every sip.


Fun Fact: In his book, The Champagne Guide 2014-2015, the Australian wine writer Tyson Stelzer gave Billecart-Salmon his highest score: 10 out of 10 – a ranking only three other Champagne houses managed to earn.


Our Guarantee: We always buy and source direct, so rest assured – your wines will arrive in your hands with pristine provenance. Order yours today!


*Offer NOT valid in-store. This offer is made pre-arrival, with wines estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in Summer 2024. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer not valid in KS, MI, NY or TN. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, and will expire on Thursday, April 25th, 2024.