Billecart’s 2004 Extra Brut – on whose labels, incidentally, that designation of dryness only appears in tiny print – opens with intimations of the fresh lemon and crabapple that then dominate a lively and invigorating palate. Hints of yeast and baked goods in the nose anticipate the subtle creaminess of texture achieved inner-mouth even with such liveliness and cut as otherwise characterizes this cuvee. Chalk and crushed stone impressions lend a touch of austerity to a penetratingly bright but otherwise understated finish. This rarified bottling may well take on more richness and complexity with a couple of years of bottle age and will probably be worth following for at least half a dozen. Billecart puts great stock by age-worthiness post- (as well as, of course, prior to) disgorgement. (DS)
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