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Saint Hilaire Limoux Blanc de Blanc Brut 2004

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Languedoc-Roussillon, France
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    Winemaker Notes

    France's Oldest Sparkling Wine!

    More than a century before champagne, the Benedictine Monks of the Abbey of Saint-Hilaire in the Southern foothills of Limoux had created France's Very First Sparkling Wine. Today, over four and a half centuries later, Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux is made in the very same foothills of Southern France.

    Critical Acclaim

    Saint Hilaire

    Saint Hilaire

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    Saint Hilaire, , France - Other regions
    Saint Hilaire
    Blanquette de Limoux is probably the oldest sparkling wine in the world. We know that in 1531, the Benedictine Monks of the Abbey of Saint-Hilaire were already producing Blanquette de Limoux which certainly makes it France's Oldest Sparkling Wine preceding Champagne by more than a century.

    By 1794 Blanquette de Limoux was well known and appreciated throughout France. About that time, it was discovered by a famous American, Thomas Jefferson.

    Among his other talents, the third American President was an expert on French Wines and Blanquette de Limoux, one of his favorites, was an integral part of his wine cellar. In fact, President Jefferson was probably the first person to bring the wine to America.

    Today, Blanquette de Limoux has won the acclaim of knowledgeable wine enthusiasts throughout the world.

    It is sold in the United States under the name SAINT-HILAIRE in honor of the monks who first created the wine more than 475 years ago. One taste of SAINT-HILAIRE quickly reveals why France’s Oldest Sparkling Wine is also its' best.

    Champagne

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    Associated with luxury, celebration, and romance, Champagne is home to the world’s most prized sparkling wine. In order to be labeled ‘Champagne’ within the EU and many New World countries, a wine must originate in this northeastern region of France 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 chalk soil defines much of the region, lending a mineral component to the wines. The climate here is marginal—ample acidity is a requirement for sparkling wine, so overripe grapes are to be avoided. Weather differences from year to year create significant variation between vintages, and in order to maintain a consistent house style, non-vintage cuvées are produced annually from a blend of several years.

    With nearly negligible exceptions, three varieties are permitted for use in Champagne: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. These can be blended together or bottled varietally, depending on the final style of wine desired. Chardonnay, the only white variety, contributes freshness, delicacy, and elegance, as well as bright and 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 one comprised of only red grapes are called ‘blanc de noirs.’

    FED31314_2004 Item# 92184

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