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Tasting notes: Simon Billaud Chablis Grand Cru Vaudesir 2018 is a creamy white wine with intense aromas of white flowers, tropical fruits, stone fruits and spicy touches. On the palate it is meaty, unctuous and complete. A medium-bodied wine with lively acidity and a long, floral and very salty finish.
Wine Enthusiast 96/100
“Toasty, nutty richness lays itself like a warming blanket over this wine's nose, but underneath some ripe, lemon-edged stonefruit peeps through promisingly. The palate is still dominated by that toasty sheen, but it is only a question of time before the vivid, concentrated fruit integrates this, making the wine more of a unit. It has rich texture, lovely depth, generous fruit and ripe freshness. Drink 2025–2040.” Anne Krebhiel
"Initially this was noticeably reduced yet cleaned up relatively quickly to reveal an elegant nose with its aromas of white fruit compote, lemon zest, spice and a whiff of sea breeze. The supple and refined flavors are on the lighter side though this is not to say dilute while delivering fine length on the racy and attractively dry if somewhat awkward finale that also reflects evident wood influence. This will probably come together, and my score offers the benefit of the doubt." Allen Meadows
"The 2018 Chablis Vaudésir Grand Cru has a lovely bouquet of yellow plum, grapefruit, green apple and sea spray, all beautifully defined. The palate is well balanced with a very composed entry. This is a harmonious and seductive Vaudésir with just the right amount of spice on the finish. One of the best from Billaud-Simon this year and thoroughly recommended." Neal Martin
Part of an esteemed Chablis family, Samuel Billaud struck out on his own in 2009 to found his eponymous domaine. He had previously been the winemaker at Domaine Billaud-Simon, which had been a shining light in the old school Chablis clubhouse of quality. Since the creation of his own label, Samuel has met with great success and moved into a new winery space in 2015 as well as purchasing four hectares of vines that had previously belonged to Domaine Billaud-Simon.
The new winery lies in the heart of Chablis and used to belong to Stéphane Moreau-Naudet. It is set up so that Billaud only needs to pump his wines once, then gravity does the rest. The rest of the facilities consist of brand new stainless steel tanks and underground storage for barrels.
The recently purchased hectarage includes land in the grand crus Les Clos, Vaudésir, Montée de Tonnerre, Mont de Milieu, Séchet, and in the village level vineyards Les Pargues and Chapelot, as well as a Petit Chablis parcel directly to the north of Les Clos. He is also sourcing fruit from the grand crus Blanchots, Valmur, and Bougros. Due to his deep roots in Chablis, Samuel is able to purchase grapes from some of the finest, most well-established growers.
In the cellar, the premier and grand cru wines see about 15% new wood in the form of large 450 and 600 L barrels, which offsets any overt “oakiness.” The rest is fermented in small stainless steel tank.
The resulting range, from AC to Grand Cru, are layered wines rife with crunchy oyster shell and silex, and exhibit a range of flavor profiles from licorice to white peach to toasty baguette. This is top quality Chablis from a rising star producer – for white Burgundy lovers, these are not to be missed.
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