Samuel Billaud – 2020


Samuel Billaud 2022Tasted in Chablis with Samuel Billaud, 14 January 2022.

Domaine Samuel Billaud
8 Boulevard Dr Tacussel
89800 Chablis
Tel: +33 6 37 52 50 32
More reports with Domaine Samuel Billaud

Samuel on 2021:
21 – ouch – in Chablis 1 hl vs 30 normally. The crus were 15-25 hl/ha – it was a tough one. To help, prices are increasing 15-18% in 2020…

Samuel on 2020:
I think it’s nicer and more precise than 2019. The date of harvest was hard to decide and I’m sure some started their harvest a bit early – we started 28 August. We definitely have cooler minerality than in 2019 despite another hot year.

The wines…

Always such a pleasure to taste here. A couple of the early wines betrayed some green character but the rest were excellent, often great – another fine result here in 2020.

NDTEC corks from Trescases for the GCs, all the rest are DIAM. “I still have deviation with NDtec – the decision is still to be made how to seal the grand crus in the future.”

2020 Bourgogne Côte d’Or
The Mâcon-Auxerrois blend of previous years.
Very attractive a little cushion of ripe but inviting fruit – that’s lovely. Open, mouth-filling a faint spice to this fruit. Not incisive but still mouth-wateringly tasty. The best part is the super finishing energy.

2020 Petit Chablis Sur Les Clos
From their parcel above Les Clos. 45 hl/ha in 2020
Good width – ripe, vibrant, slightly golden fruit here that’s becoming more perfumed. In the flavours, there’s citrus complexity here but also a touch of green. Still, very attractively tasty wine – in fact that’s a super finish.

2020 Chablis Grand Terroirs
Pargues, Grand Ecarts with 80-year-old vines, and Chapelots – roughly equal parts of the three parcels.
A more mineral aromatic freshness. Also a modest nod to the greens here – could that be more asparagus with time? – we will see… Right now that’s still a tasty wine and the saline-infused finish is a beauty – really excellent here.

2020 Chablis 1er Vaillons Vieilles-Vignes
From the heart of Vaillons, vines over 70-years-old.
A narrow but deep nose – this is very inviting. Open, classy, very mineral, just so mouth-watering with flavour. That’s a top Vaillons, faintly reductive towards the finish – not ‘noble’ but a great wine.
2020 Chablis 1er Montmains
In the middle of Montmains from 36-year-old vines, all in tank. This waiting for a springtime bottling.
A little reductive and a lot saline. I love the direct, mineral, zesty flavour here – still plenty of reduction. That’s got super complexity – it will also be a great 2020.

2020 Chablis 1er Fourneaux
Two parcels, all organic but they are contracts so it’s not noted on the label. 43-year-old vines on quite a steep slope, all made in tank. Now bottled
That’s really a calmer but attractively elegant nose – very appealing. Richness but clarity and minerality makes this ultra-drinkable. That’s completely gorgeous and deliciously long already!

2020 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
From Vaupulent – not yet bottled – 50% barrel – 450-litre – the first with some barrel elevage
This is a more compact nose but still with some fresh and mineral-style width. A little extra ripeness to this yellow-citrus but still a wine of energy and freshness – not richness. The barrel shows itself only in the mouth-watering finish. Excellent wine…

2020 Chablis 1er Mont de Milieu
3 heights of vines, all harvested by hand and vinified together as they are small parcels. 20% 450l barrel elevage – all assembled in tank on lees. Youngest vines here are well over 60-years-old. Also not yet bottled
A depth of minerality here – this is very impressive! A touch of gas but then open, mineral, layered but freshly energetic. There’s 20% barrel elevage here but you wouldn’t notice – growing in finishing intensity. That rare thing – a properly Chablis MdM – ie without the grainy complexity from plenty of barrel elevage.

2020 Chablis 1er Montée de Tonnerre
2 parcels of 40 and 45-year-old vines: the top of Chapelots, other at the top of the triangle. Again not yet bottled, like the last with 20% barrel elevage.
The nose is modestly open, a little airy but less communicative today. The agrum complexity is much more forward here vs the MdM – lots of energy and quite zesty in style – almost juicy. Gorgeously pure and long. A wine that just keeps getting better and better – a bit more interest at the start and this will be great…
2020 Chablis 1er Séchets Vieilles-Vignes
More than 75 years old vines from Samuel’s great-grandmother – ‘The most mineral part of Vaillons.’ Long, 18-month, elevage but no barrels for this one – not yet bottled
Not fully open but there’s still a fine clarity to this yellow citrus nose. Ooh – that’s incisive, energetic, and just soooo mouthwatering. Juicy, but more than that it’s complex, there’s citrus skin purity here too. It’s difficult to follow the last two wines but this manages to do so and holds a great finish too.

2020 Chablis Bougros
Côte de Bougros approaching Preuses.
A tighter nose again – a little vertical – there’s depth and growing higher tones. This practically surprises with its fresh energy after the calm nose. It’s vibrant more citrus than mineral but it holds a great line in the finish. This is very good and not a bit oaky…

2020 Chablis Blanchots
Older 5-7-year-old barrels used. More blue clays here.
Again only modestly open but here is certainly clarity. In the mouth also a more open style that majors on clarity and a mix of citrus and mineral. More vibrant finishing here – I instinctively am drawn to this a bit more than the Bougros today – it’s just a little calmer and finer I think…

2020 Chablis Les Preuses
More than 70-year-old vines, Some two-year-old barrels as for Blanchot.
This with the most open of these GC noses – faintly saline with an attractive depth of fruit. Hmm – that’s really lovely – it’s a little more structural and less fluid and sinuous today – but with clarity and purity of fine flavour. What a beautiful finish – not narrowing just very slowly fading and becoming ever-more airy – bravo! I’d be waiting 10 years to enjoy this but it’s already delicious now, of course!
2020 Chablis Vaudésir
2 parcels – one near Moutonne the other near Grenouilles – vines between 30 and 40 years old. The two parcels face each other in this small v-shaped valley. One or two days difference for harvest due to the different/opposite orientations.
A faint width of reductive minerality at the base of the aromas. Really a vibrancy and energy here – quite dynamic – more direction than the Preuses and more overt energy – that’s two very characterful Vaudésir in one morning! Great and intense finishing.
2020 Chablis Les Clos
Top of the hill next to the Billaud-Simon/Faiveley vines. The only wine with some new wood.
Narrower but with a very attractive accent of noble reduction. Not the largest, not the most energetic – perhaps the most complex – full of zesty bitters and mineral and citrus accents – but the combination is probably the wine that’s the most complete today in the glass – I have to say ‘Bravo!’

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