Samuel Billaud Chablis Les Grands Terroirs comes off multiple sites planted between 1952 and 1987. You need to taste this wine. Buy some Samuel Billaud Chablis for now, but buy some Samuel Billaud Chablis for future you. Because this is a wine that will improve over the medium to long-term.
Samuel Billaud is from the Billaud Simon family. For a time he was the winemaker for the family business and his negociant business. Then when the family sold out to Faiveley, Samuel took 1/6th of the vineyard holdings. This was a big set up for his brand. If you’ve ever had any Billaud Simon Chablis you’ll know the excitement and potential. I first heard of Samuel Billaud Chablis by driving past his new winery in Chablis in 2019. It got me wondering if he was one of those Billauds. Having finally had the chance to taste his wine. Yes, he is one of those Billauds and continuing the family legacy of top-flight Chablis. Chablis with the steel you want and the purity of fruit on top. It’s hard to describe just what makes them so charming, but when you taste a Samuel Billaud Chablis (Billaud Simon!) you just have to slowly nod your head and enjoy the wine in your mouth.
Samuel Billaud Chablis Les Grands Terroirs 2019 Wine Review
“Samuel Billaud Chablis is blended from Les Pargues, Bas de Chapelots and 80 year old vines is Les Quarts, one third of each. Pale in colour, this is impressively chiselled on both nose and palate and has a fine feeling of concentration. It boasts a steely finish, enjoying a perfect fruit and acid balance.” 90pts – Jasper Morris – Inside Burgundy.
“Once Samuel has moved into his new winery in Chablis, sorted out his own vineyard holdings, I think we should see him right at the top of Chablis producers alongside the likes of Raveneau and Vincent Dauvissat. After all he’s suffered, you might say he deserves it, but that would be ignoring the sheer quality of his wines.” -Neal Martin – 2014
The classic part of Burgundy known as the Cote D’Or (the slope of gold) is essentially one vineyard that is 60km long and maybe 5km at its widest. From this limestone ridge, some of the most complex, long-lived and aromatic wines produced from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Cistercian monks who owned the land codified the entire region, and so each small plot has a name.
The Kimmeridgian soils that make Chablis taste like Chablis are evident in these wines. They have more definition of the region and more structure than a Petit Chablis. But without the fruit weight and intensity of the better sites. Great wines for drinking young or youngish.
The grape that you can plant anywhere, in any climate and do anything to and it will still taste like an OK wine. When people hit the sweet spot of site, climate, cropping and winemaking, Chardonnay becomes a magical wine that will age gracefully but charm you at any age. Chardonnays can range from cool-climate lean and citrusy to warmer climate tropical and overt. Oak and lees can add flavouring as can malolactic fermentation.
The land that some many New World (not European) wine producers look to emulate. To generalise about French wine, I would say it is savoury, lighter-bodied wines. They are the definition of elegant, complex. There are many styles, though. And there is a French wine for every palate. They lead the world in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Burgundy. Sparkling Wine in Champagne. Cabernet and Merlot in Bordeaux. Syrah(Shiraz) and Grenache in the Rhone Valley. Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris in Alsace. Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley. Gamay in Beaujolais.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is impressive. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
It is interesting to know that you can make white wine from almost any grape. The colour comes from the skins, and if there is no contact, there is no colour. White wines tend to be delicate, perfumed, higher in acid and lower in alcohol. It seems for this and many other reasons, it is hard to make an incredibly impressive white wine. But those that have mastered the art are indeed some of the best winemakers in the world.
It is a falsehood to think that white wine does not age as well as red wine. But it is correct that white wine, as a rule, doesn’t age for as long.
The Wine Depository
I, Phil, have been running The Wine Depository since 2011. The Wine Depository exists to make sure you are drinking the good wines. You can browse and pick what is interesting to you. Or you can make contact with me. I’ll make sure you get what you want, to your palate, to your budget and to your door.