Domaine Saint Hilaire
Domaine Saint Hilaire is a historic vineyard in the Languedoc a few miles inland from the Mediterranean. The area was famous for making excellent wines even as far back as Roman times but it was Baron Hilaire Reynaud who gave the vineyard its current name when he purchased it in 1817. Hilaire Reynaud was born nearby and joined the army as a junior officer. He became known for his skill and bravery, was wounded several times in battle and rose through the ranks to become a general and Baron of the Empire under Napoleon Bonaparte.
Since the 1990s the vineyard has been modernised with the planting of new varieties and the introduction of high-quality vinification techniques. Vincent, the head winemaker, has been making wines at Saint Hilaire for 18 years and knows how to make the most of the varied “terroir” provided by the hot Languedoc sunshine tempered by cooling sea breezes on the gently north-facing slope and sunny plateau of the domaine.
The range is quite extensive: the whites include fruity and aromatic Viognier, Vermentino and Chardonnay varietals through to the elegant and sophisticated “Advocate” and “SILK” Chardonnays which are gently aged in French oak barrels. The reds include a perfectly balanced Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot and a rich and spicy Syrah Grenache. Although not yet well known in the USA, the wines can be found in several Michelin starred restaurants and 5 star hotels around Europe.
Saint Hilaire is owned by Nick and Lisa Kent who are originally from the UK and USA respectively and are passionate about their wines and are investing to build the vineyard’s international reputation. The luxury historic manor house with 7 bedrooms, cinema room, library and living rooms with fireplaces, has a private pool and 2 ha park, is also available for holiday rental throughout the year. Especially for anyone wanting to assist with a harvest, they offer special harvest packages. The Huffington Post recently listed Saint Hilaire as one of 10 vineyards you must visit in the next 5 years. We totally agree. Domaine Saint Hilaire.
A traditional Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (70%) and Merlot (30%), this complex oaked wine makes an excellent accompaniment to red meats and cheeses, while remaining supple enough to drink on its own. Drinks well from release and will keep for up to ten years from harvest
On the nose black pepper, tobacco and a host of earthy, savoury notes provide for an intense aromatic experience. This is a full-bodied wine that has softened over its two years in bottle. The flavours on the nose follow through to the palate and linger for some time. A hearty wine for red meats and bbq.
An intense and vibrant bouquet of apricots, peaches and pear drops. The same flavours explode on to the palate and are joined by a hint of vanilla and spice.
The Silk Trilogy Chardonnay is an elegant beautifully made white with more than a touch of class. A strictly limited production of 1000 bottles means that this wine is rarely available outside the domaine.The colour is pale yellow/straw. Citrus notes dominate the bouquet and integrate well with hints of tropical fruit and cedar and background nutty notes. On the palate riper fruit flavours feature. A rich mid palate is balanced by firm acidity that adds freshness, stability and length to the palate. Toasty cedar notes and a hint of biscuit linger with the support of a firm but balanced acidity.
An intense attack of red fruits followed by spice and cedar. The palate shows moderate alcohol but good extract of weight. Tannins are obvious but well rounded and ripe. Length of spice on the palate is impressive. A more balanced style of Syrah showing delicate flavours and an overall finesse not see in many Syrahs from warmer climates, perfectly complimented by the generous fruity grenache
Many great things have come by way of ACCIDENT, and Lost Boys is one. In 2007, after handpicking the grapes from the estates oldest vines, this merlot was lovingly barreled and then forgotten for 7 YEARS. It was found, and bottled in 2014 and an incredible discovery - it was fantastic. Only 3 barrels were found, and 1000 bottles made. There are only 60 bottles left.