2015 Domaine Samuel Billaud Chablis 1er Cru "Vaillons Vieilles Vignes"

SKU #1317441 90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2015 Chablis 1Er Cru Les Vaillons Vieilles Vignes comes from a parcel of 70-year-old vines adjacent to Sécher. Samuel Billaud commented he has found that this particular cuvée has become more saline and minerally in barrel. It has a very complex bouquet with scents of wet limestone, yellow plum and a touch of white peach. The palate is fresh on the entry with a touch of orange rind, steely and linear; it is strict for a Vaillons, with a precise and stony finish that lingers nicely in the mouth. This should represent an enticing Chablis once in bottle. There’s a new guy in town. That guy in Samuel Billaud and more accurately, he is returning to the town of Chablis after being embroiled in a family dispute with his uncle Bernard Billaud, when he sold the domaine to Faiveley (still under the Domaine Billaud-Simon name, incidentally). As a consequence, there was an interregnum whereby Samuel occupied a temporary facility outside Chablis in the village of La Chapelle-Vaupelteigne. Since I have been visiting Samuel, it was clear that he was itching to lay foundations more permanently and as luck would have it, he was able to move into the building previously occupied by Domaine Moreau-Naudet--located in the heart of the village, just down from Domaine Droin. (NM)  (8/2016)

Allen Meadows - Burghound

 A notably floral nose displays notes of white pepper, apple, lemon-lime, orange peel and tidal pool nuances. The succulent, round and generously proportioned medium-bodied flavors possess good sap that coats the palate on the juicy and delicious finale where a touch of bitter lemon arises. This seductive effort could easily be enjoyed young.  (10/2017)


 Bright yellow. Lemon drop, smoke and clove on the nose; tighter and less extreme than the village wine. Fat, pliant flavors of ripe stone fruits and apricot are fresher than those of the 2015 village wine but do not show the mineral grip of the 2016 Vaillons. Spreads out nicely to saturate the palate on the rather glyceral back end, finishing with a suggestion of mirabelle.(ST)  (8/2017)

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Price: $37.99
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Staff Image By: Jacques Moreira | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/4/2018 | Send Email
A absolutely classic Chablis, and a 1er Cru at that too! An amazing value.

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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.