2015 Domaine Samuel Billaud Chablis Grand Cru "Valmur" (Previously $90)

SKU #1317446 92 points Vinous

 (Billaud works with east-facing vines on the left side of this grand cru): Bright lemon-yellow color. Citrus fruit aromas complemented by smoky, spicy oak. Fat and thick but backward, with harmonious acidity and stony minerality energizing the middle palate. Finishes powerful and long but not hot, with a pungent flavor of crushed citrus peel. Billaud noted that the right side of this grand cru produces more complex wine but needs to be picked later. This example is distinctly soil-driven and brisk, with a rising finish.(ST)  (8/2017)

90 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 Somewhat surprisingly, this is aromatically quite similar to the Preuses if perhaps displaying a bit better freshness. There is even more size, weight and power to the more dramatically scaled full-bodied flavors that brim with dry extract that confers a borderline chewy texture to the sappy and lingering finish that flirts with rusticity. This is exceptionally forward for a grand cru even though it will have no problem aging.  (10/2017)

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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, M√Ęcon, 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.