Billecart-Salmon - Champagne Blanc De Noirs Grand Cru Clos St Hilaire 2006 (750ml)


Price: $500.00

#74 James Suckling Top 100 of 2022

Producer Billecart-Salmon
Country France
Region Champagne
Varietal Pinot Noir
Vintage 2006
Sku 5192
Size 750ml

James Suckling: 99 Points

Baked raspberries, salted yellow plums, figs, walnuts, orange zest, mahogany and some toasted vanilla on the nose. Medium-to full-bodied with beautifully integrated, very fine bubbles. Dry, with exciting and unique white-pepper and sea-salt notes. Seamless. So harmonious. Salty and spicy clove notes evolving at the end. Amazing precision. Single parcel pinot noir, 100% vinified in oak barrels. No malo. 2g/l dosage. Disgorged November 2020. 6,750 bottles. Drink or hold.


Wine Advocate: 95+ Points

Disgorged in November 2020 with two grams per liter dosage Billecart-Salmon's newly released 2006 Brut Le Clos Saint-Hilaire is showing well unwinding in the glass with aromas of pear mirabelle plum dried fruits walnuts bee pollen and spices. Full-bodied layered and vinous it's a concentrated muscular young wine allying maturing flavors with broad structural shoulders and racy acids and concluding with a long resonant and slightly mordant finish. From a parcel planted in 1964 and vinified entirely in oak this is a powerful Champagne of considerable presence that needs some more time on cork to unwind and round out. My most recent visit with vineyard director Denis Blee and cellar master Florent Nys was a great opportunity to get up to date with what's happening at Billecart-Salmon. This important house is the proprietor of 100 hectares and it is contracted to farm another 100 or so hectares from whence they purchase the fruit a service they began offering their partner-proprietors in 1996. They purchase fruit from another 100 or so hectares that they don't farm. To manage this extensive vignoble Billecart has four viticultural centers?in Oiry Mailly Damery and Aÿ?equipped with 13 tractors a number that will surely continue to climb since from 2020 the house has abandoned the use of chemical herbicides. In the winery cold fermentation to preserve purity and expressive fruit has long been Billecart's calling card and that continues today in 47 hectoliter tanks of either stainless steel or wood maintained at 13 degrees centigrade and with malolactic fermentation completed or not depending on the vintage. Little by little a barrel program has been established and refined without changing Billecart's DNA: today five-year-old barrels are purchased secondhand and initially used for the "tailles" (heavier press fractions) before they are deemed sufficiently neutral to contribute to cuvées such as the Brut Sous Bois. Another development is investment dedicated to increasing the proportion of reserve wines which now routinely surpasses 50% for the Brut Réserve (it was more like 35% not long ago). Recent releases from Billecart have been excellent and show all that work very clearly and surely the upward trajectory will be perpetuated if the house continues to invest in agronomic improvements. Fans of Billecart's elegant pillowy but precise style will be delighted by everything reviewed in this report. Published: Aug 31 2022

Wine Spectator: 95 Points

This chiseled Champagne is defined by rapierlike acidity with fine tightly meshed flavors of plumped white cherry poached apricot marzipan espresso crema smoked nut and Gran Marnier liqueur that open slowly on a lively lacy mousse. This shows remarkable freshness for its 16 years. Disgorged November 2020. Drink now through 2036.

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