Billaud Montee de Tonnerre is going to be a great wine. It is just going to take time to come around. Therefore, I recommend buying and cellaring the Billaud Montee de Tonnerre 2018 for 7 years or longer.
“In 2018, the Chablis Montée de Tonnerre 1er Cru comes across as quite airy and lifted. The tell-tale citrus peel, flora, mint and crushed rock notes are there, but the 2018 is decidedly weightless in feel. I also see a bit less energy than is the norm, but then again, this is 2018 we are talking about. The Montée de Tonnerre is a blend of fruit from two parcels measuring just 0.60 hectares in total.” 91–93pts – Antonio Galloni – Vinous
“We tasted the tank component which will be blended with some barrels later. Bright pale colour, the nose is well balanced and quite discreet. Strict and stylish, with good weight behind, but very much on the mineral end rather than the sun trap style. Very long and pure, extremely successful.” 92-95pts – Jasper Morris – IB.
“(from a .45 ha holding in both Montée de Tonnerre proper and Chapelot). A softly citrus-infused nose flashes notes of white flower, mineral reduction, tidal pool and quinine hints. The finer if somewhat less concentrated flavors possess evident minerality and a lovely sense of verve while displaying excellent length and very good depth. This promising effort is a combination of finesse and punch.” 90-93pts – Allen Meadows – Burghound
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 step 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.