Billecart-Salmon Le Clos Saint-Hilaire

Le Clos Saint-Hilaire’s third release is a towering masterpiece, remarkable at 15 years of age not only for retaining profound mineral clarity and impeccable freshness in the midst of unfathomable complexity, but for a sheer persistence that elevates it to a level above virtually every other champagne. Its precision is as bright as daylight, bursting with sheer magnificence of pristine cherries. Flickers of gunpowder reduction announce intrigue, quickly vaporising to reveal spellbinding purity of pristine red and black fruits, the epitome of pinot noir character and refinement. Then its light begins to dim to a soft-focus twilight of dark mystery, revealing deeper tones of plum cake, cherry liqueur, mixed spice, vanilla pod and dark chocolate. Brilliant acidity pierces its gentle calm like pinpoint starlight illuminating a soft landscape of understated yet deeply-penetrating and mouth-engulfing mineral texture. To stand in this place and behold Le Clos Saint-Hilaire is a time-stopping experience that will stir the depths of your soul. Its twilight won’t fade for at least another 15 years. $750 at Champagne Gallery.