Laetitia Billiot is the fourth generartion to estate bottle Champagnes at this domaine in the Grand Cru Village of Ambonnay. Her Great Grandfather Louis Billiot bottled small amounts of wine, but it was his son and Laetitia’s Grandfather Henri that created estate today. Laetitia’s father Serge took over in 1954 quickly establishing himself as a top producer, producing a range of wines from his Grand Cru holdings in Ambonnay. Today, Laetitia continues the tradition, working 5 hectares in Ambonnay. Of the 18 parcels that Billiot works, all but one of them are mid slope, in the most desirable sections of this famous village. “The wines of Ambonnay are very vinous, with a lot of strength,” says Laetitia Billiot,“but they are also very fine, with delicacy and finesse. They stay fresh for
a long time.”
The wines are pressed in traditional vertical basket presses and vinified in stainless steel, Apart from one barrel fermented vintage wine, called “Cuvee Julie”. The wines don’t see Mal: “We have 100-percent grand cru vines, which always give a high degree of maturity, so we don’t need the malo.” Says Laetitia. The wines are also never stabilized or filtered prior to bottling.
Tasting Notes from Wine & Spirits: The heart of this wine is Ambonnay pinot noir (80 percent, the balance local chardonnay); a small lot of the pinot was made as a red wine and aged in neutral French oak to provide color. All that red fruit comes through in floral strawberry notes, bright and sunny, on the tart side of ripeness. The flavor melds into a luscious texture, showing the wine’s concentration and setting it up for duck rillettes.