Tasted in Chablis with Olivier Bailly, 09 January, 2020.
1 quai de Reugny
Tel: +33 3 86 42 10 33
More reports for Domaine Billaud-Simon
Olivier on 2019:
“In 2019 most of the rain came at the end of the growing season – it was almost a normal year for rain from the perspective of the year as a whole, but clearly not the vines. We had was more volume than in 2016 or 2017 but it was still less than 40 hl/ha for the domaine. We had about 44 hl/ha for our villages Chablis, so that reflects the region as a whole, but only 20 hl/ha in Blanchots, 30 hl/ha in Petite Chablis – the white soils really suffered from the extra heat and light. But our 70-year-old Preuses delivered 40 and that’s super for these vines. As it was dry we needed only 8 vine treatments in the year, we had just a little worry about oïdium at one stage, that’s all. Harvesting started quite early, and despite quite high degrees the acidity is super – more than in 2018 – I think it will be a good vintage, but it’s too early to say more as the malos are not yet underway.”
Olivier on 2018:
“2018 – Enfin! (At last!) A proper harvest, our patience was repaid. Certainly, an exceptional vintage, starting 02 September in the vines. A lovely harvest in terms of quantity – we were full – but also a vintage with proper maturity. We made 32 hl/ha in both 2016 and 2017 and I don’t see a difference in concentration with the 18s…”
Such a consistent estate – always many great wines – even in less ‘Chablis-style vintages.’ Bravo!
DIAM5 for the first few bottlings, 1ers and grand crus all receive cork tested for moisture content and TCA. Started bottling the majority of the range this week – some done back in July and November last year – but now it’s time for all the 1ers and grand crus – all should be completed in the third week of January.
2018 Petit Chablis Sur Les Clos
Two parcels from the flat land on the top of the hill above the grand crus of Les Clos and Valmur – totalling 1.33 hectares. Bottled in November.
Hmm, a lovely width of yellow citrus fruit. Some richness, layers of flavour, super-tasty, not overtly Chablis style but still a nice supporting mineral impression – until the gorgeous finish – so delicious.
An assembly of many parcels including some purchased must but a little over 4 hectares worth. Elevage mainly tank but one or two barrels. This bottled in July.
A much more complex, fresh nose. Brighter, quiet open, less rich – but there’s still an aspect of that. Lovely, more agrume flavour than ‘straight lemon.’ Complex, delicious wine, not steely but so drinkable – great finishing!
2018 Chablis Tête d’Or
All domaine with some bottom of Montée de Tonnerre is the usual spine of this. A wine with a little barrel elevage in the mix. Bottling next week.
A fuller nose, suggesting a little gas. Yes, gas, but not too much. More mineral, more acid-led width, I like the extra intensity here. A little steely and very fine, intensely finishing a suggestion of dry-extract too! Excellent 2019 Chablis!
Two parcels in Chatains, 2 in Sechets and one each in Minot and Roncières – 3 hectares. Bottling next week.
A deeper, more concentrated nose, ripe lemon. A little gas. Airy, mouth-filling, ooh that’s so tasty! This is completely delicious wine – slowly melting its complexities over the palate. Lovely purity of finishing flavour – bravo – love that!
Normally 0.25 ha. The last part of Vaupulent.
A modest width of airy agrume aroma – quite inviting. A little less gas. Like an acidulated, juicy fruit. That’s lovely again – really a fine and complex flavour – juicily delicious flavour. Yes, a buy!
2018 Chablis 1er Vaulorent
A purchase since 2015 – ‘it’s complex, I’m never sure to get the grapes until I get the grapes!’
Here’s a good mineral agrume nose – very inviting. Rounder (no gas) layered but growing in freshness, acidity and intensity – quite an open-ended wine style – always bigger! Lovely finishing flavour, almost creamy but not lactic. Excellent!
2018 Chablis 1er Mont de Milieu
Four parcels, 0.35 ha at the top pulled out after the 2015 harvest as there was virus and too low yields. 2.74 ha in total. Bottling today.
Hmm – a nicely vibrant nose – that’s a great invitation. Wide, fresh, mouth-watering wine – slowly ramping-up in intensity, a little mineral and steely in the middle. That’s a very classic structure with a little fruit-roundness of the vintage. Excellent wine, maybe more – the finish is classically great!!
2018 Chablis 1er Montée de Tonnerre
2.15 ha in three parcels. Some of the oldest vines of the domaine are here with 80-85 years of age. An important part to the domaine – the average age of vines here is at least 40 years of age. Bottled yesterday
Wide, complex, a great invitation. More mouth-filling, plenty of complexity, really the most combination of energy and complexity of all so far. Nicely mineral finishing, and like the MdM just a little 2018 cushioning from the fruit. Excellent!
2018 Chablis Les Blanchots
The tiniest parcel of grand cru here, just 0.18 ha – also right at the top near their parcel of Les Clos. In tank, not cold-stabilised yet – bottling next week though.
A little more concentration apparent though the nose is also a little more compact. Nice shape, fine volume in the mouth – a modest little touch of oak in the complexity today – but a wine of open mouth-watering style and good complexity. I like the finish a lot – it’s really super here. Not with intensity, rather weight and deliciousness. Excellent!
2018 Chablis Valmur
This a contract.
That’s an inviting depth of concentrated yellow fruit, a little airy above. Lovely open energy in the mouth – less direct focus but there’s a delicious complexity of flavour here – really delicious. Excellent wine with a great, great finish – again!
Three parcels here that come to 0.49 ha – two in the colder part – that brings freshness in warm years.
A little more compact yet it’s still a nose of some vibrancy. Mouth-filling, a suggestion of mineral reduction at the base – a touch of tannin too. Beautiful agrume fruit in the middle and finishing flavour – super clarity – bravo!
Good depth on this, still, slightly compact nose – the first with a little barrel. Lots of volume – mouth-filling wine – lots of energy too – quite a dynamic wine. Yes some oak in the middle, so wait 2 years (or more). So vibrant finishing too. Bravo!
Yes! – saving the best nose for last! Fresh, a faintly mandarin-influenced agrume fruit aromatic. Gas. An extra sweetness that I’m not the biggest fan of, but this energetic, concentrated, perfectly balanced wine is so tasty and over-delivering how can it not be great? Bravo!