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"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.
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 each vintage, there is a limited release of between 3,500 to 6,500 individually numbered bottles, reserved for those very special moments.
Production: 6,750 bottles
"The 1998 Brut Le Clos Saint-Hilaire emerges from the glass with an exotic array of intensely perfumed, candied fruit. The wine possesses gorgeous textural richness in a deep, layered expression of Pinot Noir. The mousse remains refined and very elegant all the way through to the deeply satisfying, resonating finish. This is bottle: 001493 out of 6,750. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2023. Le Clos Saint-Hilaire is a 100% Pinot Noir Champagne made from a small, one hectare plot located on the property in Mareuil-sur-Ay. The wine is fermented in oak and bottled with no dosage. In only its third release, Le Clos Saint-Hilaire has already established itself as one of the region’s most fascinating wines. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2023. The Billecart-Salmon house style is defined by class, elegance, and a sublime freshness to the wines. Long fermentations at cold temperatures with no malolactic fermentation are the rule at this small, family-owned property in Mareuil-sur-Ay." – Antonio Galloni 95-p, Wine Advocate #186
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