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.
An indulged terroir
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.
The magic of a terroir blended with expertise and ancestral know-how, reveals a deep yellow gold hue, underlined by intensely golden reflections.
The graceful effervescence of fine bubbles softened by the patina of time.
The ample and imposing texture, with hints of citrus fruit flesh and pears in syrup (candied lemon zest, mandarin pulp), emerges against a base note of panettone. With a richness bursting with flavours (puffed buckwheat and precious wood), the wine is carried by a fullness of taste with bewitching charm culminating in a deliciously chalky root mineral.
A noble, racy expression with an extremely complex, vinous impact on the nose (touch of biscuit, fresh roasted hazelnuts, white pepper). A refined development highlighting the scintillating concentrations of ripe and intense fruit (nuts and sweet spices).
Each rare vintage of this unique grande cuvée consists of no more than 6,000 bottles. When served at cellar temperature (12/14°), this micro cuvée will surprise your palate when paired with Wild Turbot and Burmese coffee.
From Florent NYS, Billecart-Salmon’ chief winemaker.
In Perfect Harmony with Daniel Manetti
Wine Director - The Connaught, London
“ My first encounter with Clos St Hilaire was with the vintage 1999, I had the pleasure to taste it in the middle of the Clos and that was a completely fully immersive experience. Totally fascinating! Since the first time I tasted it I really loved the ample texture, the fullness of the fruit, the tension it shows across the vintages. The Clos St Hilaire 2006 lends to an ample aroma, predominantly small red fruits, candied citrus fruit, crushed hazelnuts and almonds and well integrated oaky characteristics. Try this wonderful Champagne with aged cheeses. An aged Comté or Parmesan work very well with the saltiness and nuttiness of these cheeses are balanced with the richness of the Champagne. But, just to push a bit the usual boundaries, pair it with a nice Wagyu tartare with black truffle shavings on top. The compact structure of Clos St Hilaire withstand perfectly with the tartare while the earthy characteristics of the champagne work well with truffle. As it is a champagne very particular, it deserves meditation and attention. In this season (winter) I would like to enjoy while in a countryside lodge in front of the fire while outside it’s snowing. ”
" I can only imagine the difference a year makes, let alone ten, twenty or thirty! I hope I am here to taste this wine to realise its potential. "
99 - Anne Krebiehl MW - Fallstaff - November 2021
Grape Varieties & Blend
- • Dosage: 2 g/l
- • 100% vinified in oak casks
- • Ageing on lees: 159 months
- • Available formats: Bottle
- • Ageing potential: more than 10 years
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