Color on the yellow side. Medium+ intense nose with developed aromas of butter, mushrooms, corn, distinct oak and milky ML notes. But there is also a good complexity with jasmine flowers, citrus fruit, redcurrants, wet concrete and toast.
Quite round with a medium acidity with just traces of tartness, full, almost oily body and a high intensity and a long finish.
High quality Champagne, in a rather special style. Apparently a Solera of 20 vintages. This bottle was disgorged in 2012.
Fabulous farmer fizz. Aged several years in my cellar. Nice mousse and bead. Shines on the palate. Beautiful balance of bread and minerals with a hint of peaches and flowers. Cross between a Pol Roger and Bollinger. Smooth as silk.
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(NV H. Billiot Fils Champagne Grand Cru Brut Cuvée Laetitia) Light yellow color with lots of tiny bubbles; oxidative, apple, Amontillado sherry nose; oxidative, oxidized apple, lightly nutty, Amontillado sherry, mineral palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish
(NV H. Billiot Fils Champagne Grand Cru Brut Cuvée Laetitia) Light yellow color with few, smallish bubbles; intense, tart peach, orange nose; tasty, complex, tart peach, tart orange, mineral palate; medium-plus finish
(NV Henri Billiot "Cuvée Laetitia") ($110.00) It tells you something when you consider that a 3,750-case estate produces two Têtes de Cuvée; says there’s a wine-freak at the helm who never had a marketing-thought in his life. Though it has always been majority-Chardonnay, Billiot has increased the proportions lately. Old bottlings of Laetitia (which I dearly wish I’d kept, damn it) were fathomless and sometimes inscrutable. Leviathans of vinosity, but you had to tuck in and live with a bottle for an hour or so. Not any more. What I tasted was entirely open and forthright, with clear intensity and more Chardonnay hawthorne. It’s nowhere near “modern” but it is more up-to-date; there’s more greengage and spiciness, more scallop and saffron, and less of the funky temperament we knew (and yes, loved). This stacks up against any Champagne you’ll ever find; a true Tête de Cuvée. Wow, this is the best Laetitia I’ve yet tasted; it extends the silky transparency of the ’04 into even more raciness and incisiveness. Really by now and in the last few years this wine swings between outstanding and stellar according to time on the cork, but this 1/10 disgorgement is stunningly good, with fine measured power and high fluting brilliance. Now contains every “vintage” between 1983-2005
(NV Henri Billiot Cuvee Laetitia) This was fantastic stuff. I have never had this cuvee before but have heard so many good things about it that I had to try it. The nose is deep and layered right off the bat with lovely almond brioche complexity and minerals. The palate was just amazing. Deep, opulent and very refined. There was lovely rich almond-tinged fruit and great purity. The acid was very nice but not quite up to my zippy standards. Teh finish was long and detailed. This was great and performed above my expectations.
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