'Sous bois is as distinctive for Billecart as its bold, modern label. Billecart is constantly experimenting, and occasionally something emerges from its trials for all to behold. ‘With?the diversity of Champagne’s regions and the rise of the growers, it’s increasingly important for us to produce more interesting, smallproduction wines,’ points out Antoine. Sous bois is literally ‘under wood’, inspired by oakfermented parcels destined for Billecart’s top cuvées. The precision of the 2008 season has brought this blend closer to its aspiration — fresher, tighter, more elegant, ultimately more ‘Billecart’ than the grand complexity and fullness of the inaugural 2006 base, with its flamboyant spectacle of swirls of butterscotch. The 2008 exalts the crunchy strawberry hull and fresh white cherries of its pinot core, intricately interwoven with the spice, toast and creamy texture of oak, without ever becoming oaky. It sings with classic Billecart precision, while basking in the richness of barrel fermentation, silky and alluring, confronting and commanding, all at once. Don’t serve it too cold, and give it lots of air in a large glass.'
Located 150 km east of Paris, Champagne is the French wine region renowned for producing the finest, most rich and complex sparkling wines in the world. The elegance, longevity and racy acidity of these wines are attributed to the influence of the chalky soils of the region and the cool, marginal continental climate. The region spans an area of 35,000 ha and has 4 main growing areas, each favouring one of the three noble Champagne varieties; Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. Champagne has a vineyard quality hierarchy based on the soils, aspect and overall quality of the grapes. Like Burgundy, these quality designations are allocated to the vineyards of the village. Of the 319 villages of Champagne, 17 have Grand Cru status and 44 villages are designated Premier Cru. All Champagne is produced by Traditional Method. The vast majority of Champagne is a blend of the three varieties and may also be a blend of several vintages producing the popular Non Vintage (NV) house styles. Top quality blends from exceptional years are sold as Vintage (Millésime) Champagne.