1996 billecart-salmon, le clos saint-hilaire
Why We're Buying
Billecart-Salmon Champagnes are expensive. None are pricier than Le Clos Saint Hilaire. The average bottle of this blanc de noirs Champagne retails around $450. The grapes come from a single hectare of land with 60-year-old vines and yield no more than 7,000 bottles of wine in a single vintage.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Billecart-Salmon’s 1996 Le Clos Saint-Hilaire has lost some of its youthful exuberance and the fruit now is a touch softer than it was a few years ago. The aromatics and overall balance remain seductive and utterly compelling. To gain perspective, I tasted this next to Bollinger’s Vielles Vignes Francaises and Krug’s Clos d’Ambonnay. The Clos Saint-Hilaire is the most delicate, ethereal of the three, while the VVF is the darkest and most brooding, purely vinous of the wines. The Clos d’Ambonnay stands out for its laser-like minerality and intensity. It is likely to be the longest-lived of these three Blanc de Noirs." (11/10) and "The Clos Saint-Hilaire, Billecart-Salmon’s old-vine, single-vineyard Blanc de Noirs, is another of the more accessible 1996s. Ripe pears, minerals and flowers appear in this generous, textured Champagne. This delicate, sublime wine is drinking beautifully today.