Wine and Walnuts

A blog about eating, drinking, cooking and reading in the not so Deep South

Great Holiday Wine: Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux Blanc de Blanc Brut 2007

Saint Hilaire Limoux Blanc de Blanc Brut
Saint Hilaire Limoux Blanc de Blanc Brut

An Excellent Yet Inexpensive Sparking Wine from France

I wrote about the 2005 vintage of this wine last December on the blog, and it’s so good and so well-priced it deserves accolades again this year; this time around you’ll likely  find the 2007 vintage when you shop for it.

The Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux 2007 is around $15 retail in the local Wilmington market (I’ve seen it at World Market for around $13 and at Wilmington Wine on Castle Street for close to the same price), and drinks like a sparkler costing twice the price.  In fact, I read that it compares to top quality non-vintage Champagne at three times the price, and I would agree.  It’s one of the best values in sparkling wine you’ll find.

Saint-Hilaire is France’s oldest sparkling wine, created by the Benedictine monks of the Abbey of Saint-Hilaire over 450 years ago; more than 100 years before the first champagne was created.  And I know this because it says so, word-for-word, right on the back of the bottle. 

From The Wine Enthusiast:  “A pretty and remarkable drinkable sparkler with soft green apple, tangerine oil and faint yellow floral notes accented with hints of lavender. There’s medium carbonation and weight in the mouth and pear and apple flavors abound with suggestions of honeydew in the finish.”
89 points The Wine Enthusiast, November 2009.

And, says Robert Parker, it’s “fresh, lively, crisp and dry.”

Winemaker’s notes from
“Dry, toasty, smooth and clean Saint-Hilaire truly captivates with an attractive yeasty aroma and luscious creamy texture. The palate is light and crisp with citrus and apple flavors and the body is just hefty enough.”

Interesting Fact:  By 1794 Blanquette de Limoux was well known and appreciated throughout France. At about that time it was discovered by Thomas Jefferson. The Third American President was an expert on French wines and Blanquette de Limoux was an integral part of his wine cellar.

Like I said when writing about the 2005 vintage, if it’s good enough for Thomas Jefferson, then it’s good enough for me.  : )

Last year I opened a couple bottles of the 2005 on Christmas Eve, and served it with chilied almonds and pancetta biscuits.  Sparkling wine does well with spicy, so it was a perfect match for the chilied almonds.

As inexpensive as this fantastic sparkler is, buying a case or two would be a very good idea to make your holidays extra festive.


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About The Author

Kimberly Houston


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