Samuel Billaud - Chablis 1er Cru - Les Vaillons Vieilles Vignes - white - 2018 - 750 ml
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WHAT THE WINEMAKERS ARE SAYING
"The 2018 Chablis Vaillons Vieilles Vignes 1er Cru is shaping up to be a real beauty. Powerful and resonant in the glass, the 2018 is racy, ample and so expressive. Orchard fruit, almond and dried flowers are some of the many aromas and flavors that develop in the glass. Readers will find a powerful, virile Chablis endowed with richness and structure to burn." 92-94 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous"Pretty aromas of crisp green orchard fruit, dried white flowers, oyster shell and orange introduce the 2018 Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons Vieilles Vignes, a satiny, medium to full-bodied wine that's bright and incisive, with racy acids and a chalky finish." 91 points, Robert Parker
Part of an esteemed Chablis family, Samuel Billaud struck out on his own in 2009 to found his eponymous domaine. He had previously been the winemaker at Domaine Billaud-Simon, which had been a shining light in the old school Chablis clubhouse of quality. Since the creation of his own label, Samuel has met with great success and moved into a new winery space in 2015 as well as purchasing four hectares of vines that had previously belonged to Domaine Billaud-Simon.
The new winery lies in the heart of Chablis and used to belong to Stéphane Moreau-Naudet. It is set up so that Billaud only needs to pump his wines once, then gravity does the rest. The rest of the facilities consist of brand new stainless steel tanks and underground storage for barrels.
The recently purchased hectarage includes land in the grand crus Les Clos, Vaudésir, Montée de Tonnerre, Mont de Milieu, Séchet, and in the village level vineyards Les Pargues and Chapelot, as well as a Petit Chablis parcel directly to the north of Les Clos. He is also sourcing fruit from the grand crus Blanchots, Valmur, and Bougros. Due to his deep roots in Chablis, Samuel is able to purchase grapes from some of the finest, most well-established growers.
In the cellar, the premier and grand cru wines see about 15% new wood in the form of large 450 and 600 L barrels, which offsets any overt “oakiness.” The rest is fermented in small stainless steel tank.
The resulting range, from AC to Grand Cru, are layered wines rife with crunchy oyster shell and silex, and exhibit a range of flavor profiles from licorice to white peach to toasty baguette. This is top quality Chablis from a rising star producer – for white Burgundy lovers, these are not to be missed.
Varieties: 100% Chardonnay