95 Points Tyson Stelzer
One-third of each champagne variety; one-third reserve wines from the previous two harvests, which Antoine describes as ‘the fourth third so it doesn’t fit in the bottle!’; fully oak-fermented below 16oC; aged on lees in barrel with batonnage for 6 months; 7g/ L dosage; DIAM closure.
Sous Bois is as distinctive for Billecart as its bold, modern label. ‘With the diversity of
Champagne’s regions and the rise of growers, it’s increasingly important for us to produce
more interesting, small-production wines,’ points out Antoine. Sous bois is literally ‘under wood’,
inspired by oak-fermented parcels destined for Billecart’s top cuvées. Its aspiration is to uphold
the mandate of Billecart in freshness, tightness and elegance. With an average age of more than
a decade, this is a particularly mature non-vintage. It was released after the 2008 base due to
the level of malic acidity sustained in the ripe, powerful and rounded 2007 season. Retention
of 90–100% of malic acidity charges it with lively drive and toned lemon juice freshness,
contrasting an epic, swirling undercurrent of impressive magnitude and richness, with deep
strokes of caramel, honey, crème brûlée and roast nuts. It sings with classic Billecart precision,
while basking in the richness of barrel fermentation, beautifully integrated thanks to a decade of
lees age. It’s silky, creamy, buttery and alluring, and as bold and commanding as its controversial
label. Don’t serve it too cold, and be sure to present it in large glasses.
Source: Tyson Stelzer.