Notes: We picked up this bottle a while ago since everyone made such a fuss about the stuff and, well, why not see what all the fuss is about? It sat around until we closed on the house (finally... after three months and a week I thought the house would never close and the bottle would never get drunk) and then it seemed fitting for the occasion. So I admit I had kind of high expectations.
I hope the house fares better than this bottle. I mean, it was not bad... it was quite fine but really kind of underwhelming. I understand that Billecart-Salmon is all about understatement, but I was really looking for a little more excitement in the bottle. It was technically okay, but not very interesting, overall.
Oddly yellowy orange in the glass...salmonish at best, but hardly pink at all unless you sit in somewhere like our living room and look at it under subdued lighting. It's downright gold in bright light. Roses and strawberry in the nose, along with toast and hay. In the mouth it is not as lush as one would expect from the nose... it's yeasty and beery, and only through some aspiration can you get much berry character out of it (it is nice when you do, though). It's got an almondlike finish with some bitterness and is quite dry.
With a little air and time the almondlike finish turned to apples (granny smiths with a little cream) and a little more strawberry started to come through on the palate. I thought it was nicer with some open bottle time, but overall I was a little neutral on it. I am not sure what I was expecting, and really, I wouldn't kick it out of bed or anything, but I was underwhelmed. I think I was hoping for the 1995 La Grande Dame (my holy grail of Champagne) or something along those lines. Which is, of course silly of me.