2011 Billaud-Simon Chablis 1er Cru "Montée de Tonnerre"

SKU #1135615 91-94 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 *Sweet spot, Outstanding* A beautifully nuanced and layered nose offers up notes of mineral reduction, citrus and high-toned white flower perfume. The rich, intense and ultra-pure flavors glide across the palate to deliver the same terrific depth on the strikingly long finish as the nose originally promised. This is first rate.  (9/2012)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Billaud-Simon’s 2011 Chablis Montee de Tonnerre – from vines principally in Chapelot, and some third of which are among the domaine’s oldest, planted in 1935 – delivers sweetly-ripe pear, kiwi and grapefruit sizzlingly tinged with white pepper, radish and lemon zest, and imbued with a sense of chalk dust suffusion and illusive kelp and seaweed. There is so much going on in this densely packed bottling that you almost want to spread it more thinly to get a better view, which is not something I would say about many other wines of this vintage. I suspect that this one may well gain stature in bottle and will certainly be worth following through at least 2018.  (8/2013)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Bright green-tinged yellow. Captivating aromas of white peach, lime and powdered stone are complicated by a gingery nuance. Rich and broad but youthfully tight, with lovely energy and a touch of menthol austerity to the white peach and crushed stone flavors. Mounts slowly and builds impressively on the fresh, dry, backward finish, which boasts a rich pineapple note. This excellent premier cru calls for a few years of cellaring.  (8/2013)

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Price: $44.99
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- 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.


- 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.


- 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.