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2002 Billecart-Salmon "Le Clos Saint-Hilaire" Brut Blanc de Noirs Champagne

SKU #1410177 100 points James Suckling

 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! Drink or hold.  (7/2019)

100 points Wine Enthusiast

 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. *Editors’ Choice* (RV)  (12/2019)

98 points Decanter

 Just 3,700 bottles of this rare and magnificent specimen have been produced, from this exceptional Champagne Clos in the heart of Ay and the maison itself. The wine is 100% Pinot Noir from a parcel of vines planted back in 1964. Vinified in oak, it then spent a total of 15 years on its lees, prior to release earlier this year in 2019 with a dosage of just 1g/l. From one of Champagne’s most acclaimed vintages, this shows a welter of densely integrated fruit and flavour. Supremely generous, ripe and intense, but not overwrought, this exhibits layers of bruised apple, spice, cappuccino and savoury sous-bois and truffle. The acidity is soft and round and plays second fiddle to the power, texture and vinosity on the palate. Very gourmandise, this cries out for richly flavoured food – or to be drunk as a vin de contemplation. Either way, this is superb now and will age for years and years and then some more …. (JS)  (5/2019)

98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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! (SR)  (12/2018)

K&L Notes

Only one press load of this all Pinot Noir masterpiece was made: 3,700 bottles. It comes from an under 1 hectare parcel planted like a garden in the middle of the Billecart property in Mareuil. The vines are all old massals that were planted in 1964. This is a profound wine for the ages!

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Price: $499.00

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By: Elsa Baez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/15/2019 | Send Email
The one hectare of this particular parcel is enclosed with pinot noir grapes (the first to be planted on the vineyard) and a winemaking facility on site. It's quite impressive and this bottle shows how complex a single-vineyard cared for in a painstakingly manner shines through. Ripe fruit, honey and spice aromas, intense texture and notes of citrus acidity and minerality speak to the concentration of a single vineyard style of wine. It's a very different style of champagne I've tasted (and I've had many!) and am entranced with how different and delicious the 2002 Le Clos Saint Hilaire expresses itself. This bottling is not released every year and a must for any champagne collector.

By: Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/12/2019 | Send Email
I had the opportunity to taste this rare bird last month. It is probably the most memorable Champagne that we have in the store. It is also one of the most complex. It has an elegant nose of yellow fruits, creme brulee, roasted nuts and citrus. On the palate, it's a bit harder to describe, because there is so much going on! Initially, I got citrus, especially (juicy) oranges, followed by just a touch of honey and apricots and tart spices. The finish is exceptionally clean with sea salt notes and very generous minerals. This is THE one for any Champagne enthusiast or collector. It will keep many, many, years in your cellar, if you wish to do so. Very, very, small production and we are very lucky to have it here!

By: Cameron Price | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/9/2019 | Send Email
If you have the opportunity to get this champagne in your glass, you needn't think twice. In Gary Westby's blog post, he mentions "only 3700 bottles, one press load, were made. They have waited 17 years to release this wine." Reading that alone bred a wicked excitement producing goosebumps the size of champagne corks. I was even lucky enough to taste this marvel of a wine and the complexity and depth of aromas are so abundant that mentioning them all here would tire even the most adept readers. In other words, this bottle is worth your hard earned money and should be enjoyed with people who you care about.

By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/9/2019 | Send Email
This monumental blanc de noirs is made from a walled vineyard that is inside the grounds of Billecart-Salmon in Mareuil. They carry the baskets by hand from the vineyard to the press house, as it is only a few meters away! All though it is dosed at only 1g/l of sugar, it has on a scale of power rarely seen in Champagne. Loaded with Nutella, truffle like savor and still lifted by chalky cut, this wine expands on the finish like only the best wines in the world do. My words fail me. Don’t hesitate when this arrives- 3700 bottles is not enough for the world- and I already drank two of them!
Drink from 2019 to 2052

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