The 2007 Saint-Hilaire Grand Cuvee is a Sparkling wine estate grown and bottled in the Blanquette de Limoux AOC located in the Languedoc in southwest France. In 1531, Sparkling wine/Champagne was first produced by the monks at the Abbey Saint-Hilaire, Dom Perignon wasn’t born until 1638, so Champagne was not invented in Champagne. The Sparkling wines of Limoux are the original Bubbly, they use the Traditional Methode, where the second fermentation occurs inside each individual bottle and the usual grapes used are Mauzac (a local grape, by rule Mauzac must comprise at least 90% of the wine), Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay. The alcohol content is 12%.
The color is pale, almost clear Miller Lite yellow, with tons of tight, little bubbles. The nose is green apple, fresh baked crusty bread and pear soaked in honey. This is smoother and creamier than expected, it tastes of apples, the core included, lemon/lime, but slightly mellow and not acidic, buttered bread and fresh squeezed lime. This is a crisp, clean tasting Bubbly, tart flavors are held in check by smooth flavors. The finish never goes away it hangs around until you take the next sip, which really isn’t all that long, I kept reaching for more.
The 2007 Saint-Hilaire Grande Cuvee Brut does everything most $30 to $40 Champagne does, but for $9.99 (on sale). Don’t get me wrong, I love French Champagne, it just that you can find equally enjoyable wines at a fraction of the cost.