This Blanc de Noirs cuvée is vinified in oak casks, allowing the richness of the terroir and the purity of the wine to express itself. For this vintage, there is a limited release of between 1,000 individually numbered bottles, reserved for those very special moments.
A Legend is Born: "In the 1950s my grandmother set aside this park-like space next to our house in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ with vines, flowers and fruit trees, for our enjoyment. Realising this outstanding terroir's potential, my family decided to plant the first Pinot Noir vines here in 1964. We tried using the Pinot Noir to make white wine in small Burgundy barrels: an outstanding champagne was about to be born. After several years of painstakingly tending the vines, the 1995 harvest, the first year of this unique cuvée, was remarkable. We called it Le Clos Saint-Hilaire after the patron saint of the church in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ. No more than 3,500 to 7,500 bottles are produced each year and each is individually numbered." - François Roland-Billecart, 6th Generation
The one-hectare Clos Saint-Hilaire meets the strictest guidelines: a single enclosed, contiguous parcel with complete winemaking facilities on site. The terroir's magic combined with the wine maker's skills make this wine exceptional. Made only from Pinot Noir vinified in casks, it develops an outstanding purity. Billecart-Salmon decided to add very little liqueur, or dosage, after disgorgement in order to let the typicality of the single grape used to make this great wine evolve.
The Clos Saint-Hilaire is a single parcel where the vines, soil and subsoil are carefully tended with respect for the environment. Several years ago, Billecart-Salmon decided to return to ancestral champagne-making methods in the Clos Saint-Hilaire by using work horses. This method of maintaining the soil and tending the vines increases porosity and biodiversity: the roots grow deep and the minerals they draw from the soil foster the growth of smaller, more concentrated grapes, revealing the terroir's typical flavour.
- Appearance: The distinctive character of a sunny year combined with an early harvest has produced a very deep golden yellow hue. A luminous radiance, with persistent, ultra-fine bubbles.
- Aroma: A noble, elegant expression and an extremely complex, vinous impact on the nose (candied citrus fruit, crushed hazelnut and almond, mild tobacco). Develops with a resplendently honeyed expansiveness featuring nuts and oriental spices.
- Palate: An ample texture with the patina of oak ageing and hints of yellow fruit in syrup (Williams pear and fresh quince) and panettone. A richness overflowing with flavours (roasted pineapple, puffed buckwheat and precious woods). The generosity of this wine transports the finish to rooty, mineral realms, with an attractive saline character.
“The Clos Saint Hilaire is a cuvee that I love. Everyone knows it is very unusual. Just because something is unusual it doesn’t always mean it is majestic but it definitely does in this case. It’s a cuvée which has amazed me with its finely roasted nuances, buttery hints of wood and honey and an ample richness. This unique taste is one I’ve never found anywhere else. In terms of pairings, I would propose a soupions stir fry with roasted ceps, dried fruits, Solliès figs and a blackberry vinaigrette! The ceps reflect the woody aromas and the chestnut aspects that are present. The ceps are also a reminder of the rare characteristics of this cuvee which has been entirely vinified in oak. For me, autumn is the best time to taste this wine, when you start to see the very first leaves in the autumnal colours. I project myself into a world which is fixed in nature, close to a forest or a pond, to fully make the most of the aromas of this exceptional and truly invigorating champagne.” - Thomas Boullault, Chef at Restaurant L’Arôme, Paris
Grape Variety: Pinot Noir
Size: 75 cl