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#6: 2016 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Crozes Hermitage Domaine Mule Blanche

2016 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Crozes Hermitage Domaine Mule Blanche Bottle

#6 2016 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Crozes Hermitage Domaine Mule Blanche

“Forward and fresh, marked by toasted-grain notes and pineapple fruit. There’s ample weight and concentration in this medium-bodied white, which should live a reasonable length of time for a white Crozes.”

Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate | 90 Points

 You can view the Product Sensory Sheet for this wine here.

#7: 2014 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Crozes Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert

2014 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Crozes Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert Bottle

#7 2014 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Crozes Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert

“Possessing an uncommon inky colour as well as rock solid notes of black raspberries, ground peppery and distinct minerality, this beauty is medium to full-bodied, has fine tannin and good overall ripeness.”

Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate | 80 – 93 Points

You can read the Product Sensory Sheet for this wine here.

#8: 2015 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage le Chevalier de Stérimberg

2015 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage le Chevalier de Stérimberg Bottle

#8 2015 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage le Chevalier de Stérimberg

“A medium-bodied, pure, energetic white that offers fabulous minerality, crisp white peach and a touch of hazelnut on the finish.”

Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate | 93 Points

You can read the Product Sensory Sheet for this wine here.

#9: 2016 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Côtes du Rhône P45 Blanc

2016 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Côtes du Rhône P45 Blanc Bottle

#9 2016 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Côtes du Rhône Parallèle 45 Blanc

“Brilliant golden yellow colour, the nose is intense and expressive with aromas of apricot and citrus as well as floral notes. The roundness of this wine ties in perfectly with its freshness and the finish reveals subtle and mineral notes.”

 You can read the Product Sensory Sheet for this wine here.

#10: 2015 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Gigondas Pierre Aiguille

2015 Paul Jaboulet Aine Gigondas Pierre Aiguille Bottle

#10 2015 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Gigondas Pierre Aiguille

“An elegant, polished wine from this estate, made from 80% Grenache and 10% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre. It offers a slightly darker slant to its fruit with notes of black raspberries, cassis and toasted spice.”

Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate | 89 – 92 points

You can read the Product Sensory Sheet for this wine here.

#11: 2016 Paul Jaboulet Aîné VDF Viognier

2016 Paul Jaboulet Aîné VDF Viognier Bottle

#11 2016 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Vin de France Viognier

“Pale yellow colour with golden tints. The nose is open and expressive with notes of fruits (pear) and white flowers. On the Palate, this wine is smooth, generous and balanced. It reveals a nice freshness as well as a beautiful balance.”

You can read the Product Sensory Sheet for this wine here.

#12: 2016 Paul Jaboulet Aîné VDF Syrah


2016 Paul Jaboulet Aine VDF Syrah Bottle

#12 2016 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Vin de France Syrah

 “Clear red purple colour with dark purple reflections. Strong nose, this Syrah shows aromas of red fruits (cherries, blackcurrant) and spices with delicacy. The attack is concentrated and fruity.
On the palate, this wine is powerful with a beautiful structure and silky tannins. The greedier finish is full of red fruits with a very nice length.”

Decanter World Wine Awards 2017 | Commended

You can read the Product Sensory Sheet for this wine here.

Let the 2018 Billecart Celebrations Begin…

Billecart-Salmon celebrate their bicentenary in 2018

Billecart-Salmon celebrate their bicentenary in 2018 | Photo by Champagne Billecart-Salmon

As Maison Billecart-Salmon celebrate their 200th anniversary in 2018, so do we.

Celebratory Degustation – MASU, Auckland
3rd May 2018

Masu Nic Watt

Nic Watt of MASU | Photo by MASU

Join us for an evening of fine Billecart-Salmon champagnes and exquisite, eye catching dishes at SkyCity’s MASU by Nic Watt in Auckland to celebrate the bicentenary of this prestigious Champagne House.

Finesse, elegance and balance have long been the hallmark characters of the Billecart-Salmon champagnes and these qualities are also reflected in the cuisine at Masu, where executive chef Nic Watt carefully and creatively prepares the most beautiful and delicate dishes.

It is set to be a wonderful evening, stimulating the senses and indulging in some of the finer things in life. This evening marks the start of a series of wonderful bicentenary celebrations, the next being a five day culinary event set on the beautiful island of Vomo.

VOMO Island Culinary Event
24th – 28th May 2018

VOMO Island Fiji

Photo by VOMO Island Fiji

Imagine sipping one of the finest and most historic champagnes, whilst the waves are lapping at the shores and Nic Watt again is serving his imaginative and sumptuous dishes. The setting is idyllic and the small group of diners will ensure the ambiance is both decadent and relaxing.

The celebrations continue again on New Year’s Eve when there will be a Billecart-Salmon degustation, followed the next day with champagne sundowners.

Founded in 1818 by Nicolas François Billecart and Elisabeth Salmon, sparkling champagne was in its infancy so they are considered some of the original pioneers of the champagne industry as we know it today. The House has been passed down from generation to generation and is still family owned. The family have always strived for perfection, bringing to us the most elegant champagnes which are enjoyed at celebrations around the world. Now it is time to celebrate their success.

Domaines Paul Jaboulet Aîné – One of the Finest Wine Estates in History

Paul Jaboulet Aine

Domaines Paul Jaboulet Aîné

Paul Jaboulet Aine

Mention the Rhone Valley to anyone around the world and a small chapel perched upon a vine clad hill is likely to be one of the first images that springs to mind. Not only is the image romantic, it is so closely associated with being one of the best Syrahs in the world, it evokes a myriad of emotions – admiration, respect, envy and desire. Winemakers around the globe aspire to make Syrahs of this complexity and intensity, such is the reverence in which it is held. La Chapelle in Hermitage is one of the finest and most iconic vineyards in the world. It belongs to Paul Jaboulet Ainé.

Almost two centuries ago, this famous vineyard was established by Antoine Jaboulet. Hermitage is a small commune in the Northern Rhone Valley and the La Chapelle vineyard slopes down to the banks of the beautiful Rhone River. The chapel, after which it is named, was built in 1235 and sits at the top of the hill. It is small and simple, yet one of the most powerful images in the world of wine. The region Hermitage is so called after the hermit that used to live there alone on the hill.

Paul Jaboulet La Chapelle Chapel

The Hermitage chapel built in 1235

It is believed that the Romans and maybe even the Greeks produced wine in this region, however, it was Antoine Jaboulet’s plantings in 1834 and focus on quality which really started to establish the region as one of the major wine producing regions of the world. When he died, the land was passed on to his sons Henri and Paul, who subsequently gave his name to the company – Paul Jaboulet Ainé (Ainé meaning the elder in French). The business was passed down from generation to generation, expanding as they planted more vineyards in other appellations along the Rhone Valley. Having started with the small plot of land in Hermitage, they now have 120 hectares, producing fine wines from twenty six other appellations including Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage, Gigondas, Cotes Rotie, Condrieu and Chateauneuf-du- Pape. They also produce some of the best Cotes du Rhone wines, with Parellel 45 well known for over delivering on price.

La Chapelle is made from 100% Syrah and is a blend from their top sites including the revered vineyards of Les Bessards, Le Meal and Les Rocoules. There is also a La Chapelle blanc which is made from 100% Marsanne. With vineyards in Condrieu, Paul Jaboulet Ainé also produce some top class viognier, and grow other indigenous Rhone Valley grapes such as Grenache and Mourvedre as relevant to the various appellations.

Paul Jaboulet Syrah

Syrah grapes in La Chapelle Hermitage

Syrah Grapes in La Chapelle

During the latter half of the twentieth century Gerard Jaboulet worked tirelessly to promote Rhone Valley wines around the world, further increasing their reputation. When he passed away suddenly in 1997, Philippe and Jacques Jaboulet took up the reins for the next few years.

In 2006, Jean-Jacques Frey bought Paul Jaboulet Ainé. The Frey family have become increasingly important in the French wine industry having significant interests in Champagne as well as purchasing Chateau La Lagune in Haut-Medoc in 2000 and Château de Corton André in Burgundy in 2014. Caroline Frey, the daughter of Jean-Jacques is the winemaker and viticulturist for Paul Jaboulet Ainé. She graduated from Bordeaux University in 2004 where she studied oenology and she is fast becoming one of the top winemakers in France. Following biodynamic practices and with the installation of a brand new gravity flow winery she is producing stunning wines, striving to make them better and better each year. She strives for excellence and for the wines to truly reflect their terroir, whilst having minimal impact on the environment, thus preserving it for generations to come.


[All photos courtesy of Domaines Paul Jaboulet Aîné]

Maison Billecart-Salmon 2018 Bicentennial – A Family Story

“Give priority to quality, strive for excellence”

This has been the motto passed down from generation to generation of the Billecart family. In 2018, as Billecart-Salmon celebrates its bicentenary, it would appear this motto has been passionately followed. Two hundred years since its foundation, Billecart-Salmon champagnes continue to achieve high international acclaim and are enjoyed in homes and top restaurants around the globe. It is a wonderful success story of a hard-working family who have continued to follow the dream and high standards set by their ancestors Nicolas François Billecart and Elisabeth Salmon who founded the Champagne House in 1818.

Nicolas Francois Billecart Elisabeth Salmon

Nicolas François Billecart and Elisabeth Salmon

The couple were given a parcel of land, close to the charming village of Mareuil-sur-Ay in the heart of Champagne, as a wedding gift by the Salmon family. They decided to focus on producing top end sparkling champagnes. Although red and white wines had been produced in Champagne for many centuries, the art of creating quality sparkling wines by a controlled and consistent method was still in its infancy. Billecart-Salmon are therefore considered amongst the group of pioneers who helped establish the modern, hugely successful champagne industry as we see it today.

The House is now run by the seventh generation of the family, brothers François Roland Billecart and Antoine Roland Billecart. Their father Jean Roland Billecart, now 90 and with the experience of over 70 vintages under his belt, is still involved with the company. In 2010, François’ son, Nicolas joined the business meaning there is the rather special situation of three generations working together, following their family motto and striving to improve and perfect their wines each vintage.

Billecart-Salmon Family

Brothers Antoine & François Billecart with their father Jean Roland-Billecart (middle)

Their wines are made from the traditional champagne varieties – chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier, which come from some of the best sites in the region. They own 15 hectares, including Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards across the Vallee de la Marne and the Cotes des Blancs.

Billecart-Salmon Vineyard

Billecart–Salmon are particularly well known for their more unusual practice of “double cold settling”. This method leaves the must from the pressings to sit for 12 hours, allowing all the solids to settle to the bottom of the tank. It is then racked to another tank, cooled down and left for another 48 hours to allow any further solids to settle to the bottom of the tank. This is a gentler way of handling the wine and ensures the juice is purer before fermentation begins. It is believed this practice adds elegance and finesse to the wine. They first started using this method in 1952.

During the 1950s they also started producing the rose style champagnes for which they are now most famous.

Following their motto of “give priority to quality, strive for excellence”, Billecart Salmon built a new state-of- the-art winery in 2001, proving that although they incorporate successful traditional techniques into their wine-making, they also embrace modern technology when it serves to further improve the quality and efficient production of their wines.

Finesse, balance and elegance are the hallmark of Billecart-Salmon champagnes and on their 200th anniversary, we pay tribute to this family’s continued success of producing champagnes of this outstanding quality. We look forward to celebrating their enormous success over the coming months and invite you too, to raise a glass to the Billecart family.

Billecart Salmon

For dates of the upcoming Billecart-Salmon Bicentennial celebrations, please click here.


[All photos courtesy of Champagne Billecart-Salmon]