A note on Nicolas François Billecart 2002

I hosted a champagne tasting last night, with wines from Pierre Peters, Fleury Père et Fils, Palmer & Cie, Moutard, and Billecart-Salmon.

It was my first tasting of a Pierre Peters wine, in this case the Cuvée de Reserve Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru, and rather disappointingly I didn't really understand the wine, although I suppose that's an excuse for another bottle.

But that's not the main thing I wanted to say. I've tasted the 2002 Nicolas François three times now; in 2015, last year, and last night. The first of these was in ideal conditions, and the wine, while clearly still very youthful and tightly wound, also managed to be reasonably expressive. Last year's bottle was completely unexpressive, so I was a little apprehensive about opening it again last night, but I have rather done Krug and Dom Pom to death over the last twelve months, so Billy it was.

And I'm so glad I did. It was beautifully expressive. Lean, yes, tight, indeed, but it had such lovely aromas of white flowers, and there was a slight saline edge to it which I hadn't seen before. It was the wine of the night by a country mile, and I look forward very much to tasting it again in another year's time.

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