NV Champagne Henri-Billiot Brut Rose
Ambonnay is Pinot land; 350 hectares and only 20 of them Chardonnay. Ambonnay Pinot Noir seems to be the sweetest, most Volnay-like in the Montagne de Reims. Bouzy, in contrast, is darker but more earthy, while Aÿ is firmer with less overt berried fruit. The Ambonnay signature might be strawberry, forest-floor, sweet-100s. All of which are certainly present in Billiot’s wines.
“Billiot’s five hectares of vines are all in Ambonnay, spread over 18 parcels. Even more impressive is that all but one of their parcels are on the mid-slope, in the most favored portion of the vineyard area, expressing the classical character of this famous village. “The wines of Ambonnay are very vinous, with a lot of strength,” says Serge’s daughter, Laetitia “but they are also very fine, with delicacy and finesse. They stay fresh for a long time.” All of the wines are fermented in enameled steel tanks, which Billiot prefers to stainless steel, and the wines are neither fined nor filtered. In addition, they do not go through malolactic: “We have 100-percent grand cru vines, which always give a high degree of maturity,” says Serge Billiot, “so we don’t need the malo.” - Peter Liem
75% pinot noir, 25% chardonnay