Billecart-Salmon Cuvée Sous Bois Brut

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. Sous bois is literally ‘under wood’, inspired by oak-fermented 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. $110 at Stewarts and Champagne Gallery.