This is the month for celebrating! There is nothing more celebratory than a bottle of Champagne and when the bottle is a magnum the celebration is twice as fun.
Another reason to choose a magnum is that it is given the same amount of exposure to oxygenation as a 750ml bottle, through the cork, thus keeping the wine younger by slowing down the aging process and keeping the wine fresher.
Champagne H Billiot Fils, Brut Reserve Grand Cru, 1.5mL
The bottle we chose comes from a small producer (Récoltant manipulant, RM for short) from the Champagne sub-region Montagne de Reims. Laetitia Billiot is the fourth generation to bottle estate Champagnes at this domaine in the Grand Cru Village of Ambonnay. Her Great Grandfather Louis Billiot bottled small amounts of wine, but it was his son and Laetitia’s Grandfather, Henri, that created estate today. Laetitia’s father Serge took over in 1954 quickly establishing himself as a top producer, producing a range of wines from his Grand Cru holdings in Ambonnay. Today, Laetitia continues the tradition, working five hectares in Ambonnay. Of the 18 parcels that Billiot works, all but one of them are mid-slope, in the most desirable sections of this famous village. “The wines of Ambonnay are very vinous, with a lot of strength,” says Laetitia, “but they are also very fine, with delicacy and finesse. They stay fresh for a long time”.
This magnum is made with 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay grapes. The assemblage or blending is from three distinct vintages: 50% from 2015, 25% each from 2014 and 2013.
The wines are pressed in traditional vertical basket presses and vinified in stainless steel tanks.
The wine doesn’t go through malolactic fermentation and ages for 36 months in the bottle. The sugar dosage is 9 grams but only first press juice that makes for a complex structure and acidity to support a long lively aging time.
The color in the glass tends resemble a shallot skin tone, and this may make you think about a very rich and plush wine, but when you bring it to the nose there are fresh fruit notes: green apple, Asian pear, and loquat. Floral and herbal garden whiffs brush your nostrils.
The taste supports those sensations with a clean acidity that leaves the palate ready for more.
The food pairing for this champagne goes from fresh-shucked shellfish, sashimi, and beef tartar to recipes with beurre blanc sauce.
Joyeuses fêtes a vous tous !
À votre santé!
La famille PlumpJack