2011 Billaud-Simon Chablis Grand Cru "Les Preuses"

SKU #1135617 92-94 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 This is also ultra-pure and even more elegant with discreet aromas of sea shore, stone and citrus elements. The exceptional purity of the nose is confirmed by the saline-infused, detailed and wonderfully intense flavors that are at once generous yet precise before terminating in a palate staining finish. An impeccably well-balanced wine of harmony and refinement.  (8/2012)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Billaud-Simon’s 2011 Chablis Preuses – from vines planted in 1952 – displays earthy and intriguing suggestions of urchin roe, musky narcissus, and fresh lemon. Richly-textured yet persistently bright, it draws on the sort of sweetly-saline crustacean character so memorably frequent from this cru to generate a finish of mouthwatering temptation and profound depth. This is a fine example of what some will consider the peculiarities – or perhaps even the slightly off-putting exoticism – of Preuses. The rest of us would do well to employ some of this secret weapon at table over the coming decade.  (8/2013)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (made entirely in stainless steel): Pale yellow. Deep, ripe aromas of peach, white flowers, crushed herbs, mint and menthol. Juicy, light and penetrating, with a strong impression of acidity giving grip to the tactile grapefruit, peach, pepper and herb flavors. Seems less ripe than some of the other 2011s here, even a bit tart on the finish, but this is also very tightly wound today. 91(+?)? points  (7/2013)

16 points Jancis Robinson

 Very fine nose and obvious density. Bone dry but delightfully pure. All the cut of a fine Chablis plus a bit of stuffing. Worth waiting for. 16.5+ / 20  (7/2013)

K&L Notes

From Burghound: "Producer note: Bernard Billaud, just as he did in 2010, called the 2011 vintage "a complete classic. If the wine school textbooks had a description of what classic Chablis is supposed to smell and taste like, then both 2010 and 2011 produced it. The wines are elegant, very fresh and possess a wonderful sense of tension and drive. I suppose if I had to choose, 2010 is slightly more classic but really, we're splitting hairs. From the standpoint of making a comparison with another recent vintage, I would characterize 2011 as being more like 2008 than 2010, which itself is perhaps more like 2007. The fruit was exceptionally clean and quite ripe as there was no chaptalization. Overall, I think people will love 2011 as the wines will drink well early but should also age beautifully if desired." As to the now in-bottle 2010s, they have fulfilled everything that I saw last year and then some. In sum, they are seriously impressive wines and well worth your attention. "

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Price: $74.99

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Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Chablis

- The region north of the Cote d'Or, famous for its steely dry white wines made from Chardonnay. There are 7 Grands Crus vineyards, and numerous Premier Crus. Unfortunately, the name has been borrowed and badly abused by producers of inferior white wines in the US as well as in Australia. True French Chablis is a delicate, stony, crisp Chardonnay, bearing no resemblance to the anonymous plonk so labeled here.