Billecart-Salmon Le Clos Saint-Hilaire 2002
A sustained yellow gold hue highlighted by intensely golden reflections and ultra-fine and persistent bubbles.An olfactive and aromatic impact of a great vinous complexity (fresh figs, bergamot and light tobacco). An intense blossoming of character, honeyed by a state of maturity of ripe fruits and spices. A profound and ample texture with accents of lightly candied citrus and panettone; an exuberant richness of flavours (wild peach, mandarin cordial, roasted sweet chestnuts and precious woods). Its mineral finish ends on mouthwatering notes.This exceptional cuvée will enchant your taste buds when paired with a delicious line-caught seabass accompanied by roasted ceps, or with Breton lobster.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
From just over two acres of old vines in the producer's home village of Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, this pure Pinot Noir Champagne is magnificent. A toasty flavor is balanced by concentrated white fruits, with a touch of tannin adding texture. It's an unforgettable wine. Enjoy in the nearterm.
From a one-hectare parcel of pinot noir, planted in 1964. This makes such a striking impression with incredible freshness and purity, married with such intensity and length. The aromas of fresh, toasted almond are striking. Fresh forest mushrooms, too. The palate has intensity that is truly bracing and delivers such power and length. Exceptional!
Entirely vinified in oak and disgorged in May 2018, after 15 years on the lees in bottle, the 2002 Millésime Brut Le Clos Saint-Hilaire is a single-plot Blanc de Noirs from Pinot Noir vines planted in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ in 1964. Highly fine and pure on the deep, elegant and spicy nose, with intense mirabelle and apricot flavors, this is a pure, salty, very finessed yet tensioned, complex, mineral and refreshing Pinot with intense and well-concentrated fruit, a juicy texture and persistent structure. The finish is very long but pure, fresh, salty and, in any case, highly stimulating!
Sourced from the one-hectare Clos St-Hilaire, a walled vineyard, this 2002 opens with toasty aromas, spices, white fruits and roasted nuts. This voluminous Champagne has a textural richness, some finesse, and the layered expression of Pinot Noir. There's both density and freshness on the palate, and an engaging counterpoint between vinosity and tension. 2002 is the most fascinating vintage after the magnificent 1998.
A firm, focused version, wrapping the steely frame of acidity in a fine, satiny mousse that carries well-meshed notes of toasted almond, dried apricot, fleur de sel and crystallized honey. Aging gracefully, this lingers on the finish, with hints of ground cumin and ginger.
Oldest continuously family-owned House, Billecart-Salmon was founded in 1818 by the marriage of Nicolas Francois Billecart and Elisabeth Salmon. For over two hundred years, the House has developed a renowned expertise in crafting fine, elegant and balanced Champagnes.
Billecart-Salmon was first and foremost the result a union between Nicolas François Billecart and Elisabeth Salmon who, in 1818 and just married, founded their own Champagne House in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, a small village near Epernay. At their side was Louis Salmon, Elisabeth’s brother and a passionate oenologist who, from the very beginning, dedicated himself to the development of the wines. From then on, their heirs have never stopped aiming for excellence in winemaking. Today led by seventh generation Mathieu Roland-Billecart, each family member has endeavored to pursue the family tradition and stay faithful to the same motto: "give priority to quality, strive for excellence."
Billecart-Salmon rigorously cultivates an estate of 100 hectares, sourcing grapes from an area totaling 300 hectares across 40 crus of the Champagne region.
The majority of the grapes used for vinification come from a radius of 20km around Epernay, where the Grand Crus of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay co-exist, in the vineyards of the Montagne de Reims, the Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Blancs.
As part of the quest to increase the quality of their champagnes, in the 1950s, the House introduced the technique of cold settling combined with the use of stainless steel tanks for a longer fermentation at a lower temperature. Vinification occurs primarily on small thermoregulated tanks which allows the House to vinify parcels separately, preserving nuances of expression of "terroir". Low temperature fermentation slows down the process, encouraging aromas to delicately develop and allow the purity of the fruit to be fully expressed; absolute signature of the Billecart-Salmon style: finesse, elegance and balance.
Over three years of ageing on lees in the chalk cellars for the non-vintage cuvees and over ten year for the prestige vintage cuvees, the family allows their wines to blossom. Giving the luxury of time to play its role is also behind the grandeur of Billecart-Salmon champagnes.
Associated with luxury, celebration, and romance, the region, Champagne, is home to the world’s most prized sparkling wine. In order to bear the label, ‘Champagne’, a sparkling wine must originate from this northeastern region of France—called Champagne—and adhere to strict quality standards. Made up of the three towns Reims, Épernay, and Aÿ, it was here that the traditional method of sparkling wine production was both invented and perfected, birthing a winemaking technique as well as a flavor profile that is now emulated worldwide.
Well-drained, limestone and chalky soil defines much of the region, which lend a mineral component to its wines. Champagne’s cold, continental climate promotes ample acidity in its grapes but weather differences from year to year can create significant variation between vintages. While vintage Champagnes are produced in exceptional years, non-vintage cuvées are produced annually from a blend of several years in order to produce Champagnes that maintain a consistent house style.
With nearly negligible exceptions, . These can be blended together or bottled as individual varietal Champagnes, depending on the final style of wine desired. Chardonnay, the only white variety, contributes freshness, elegance, lively acidity and notes of citrus, orchard fruit and white flowers. Pinot Noir and its relative Pinot Meunier, provide the backbone to many blends, adding structure, body and supple red fruit flavors. Wines with a large proportion of Pinot Meunier will be ready to drink earlier, while Pinot Noir contributes to longevity. Whether it is white or rosé, most Champagne is made from a blend of red and white grapes—and uniquely, rosé is often produce by blending together red and white wine. A Champagne made exclusively from Chardonnay will be labeled as ‘blanc de blancs,’ while ones comprised of only red grapes are called ‘blanc de noirs.’
Representing the topmost expression of a Champagne house, a vintage Champagne is one made from the produce of a single, superior harvest year. Vintage Champagnes account for a mere 5% of total Champagne production and are produced about three times in a decade. Champagne is typically made as a blend of multiple years in order to preserve the house style; these will have non-vintage, or simply, NV on the label. The term, "vintage," as it applies to all wine, simply means a single harvest year.