Samuel Billaud Les Preuses is a fine wine. The vines are 70 years old, and they produce amazing fruit. Depth, power, concentration. This is a wine to keep. Drink the Petit Chablis or Chablis AC and leave this one for at least 7-15 years.
“The 2016 Chablis Les Preuses Grand Cru is aged in three and five year old barrel for one year and then in stainless steel for 6 months. This comes from 60-year old vines. It has a very delicate bouquet at first the Les Preuses opens with aeration, citrus fruit with white peach and a touch of egg shell. The palate is very well balanced with a fine bead of acidity, quite saline in the mouth with a little chewiness thanks to the phenolic finish that should be intriguing to watch mature in bottle. Give this three or four years and you will be repaid, but it will give 15+ years of pleasure” Samuel Billaud Les Preuses Chablis Grand Cru 2016 93 Points NM, Vinous
Samuel Billaud is from the Billaud Simon family. For a time he was 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 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 Billaud Chablis (Sam or Sim!) you just have to slowly nod your head and enjoy the wine in your mouth.
“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 Kimmeridgian soils that make Chablis taste like Chablis is 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.