Samuel Billaud - A Maverick with Pedigree in Chablis
“We should see him...at the top of Chablis producers alongside...Raveneau and Vincent Dauvissat.” – Neal Martin, Wine Advocate, 10/15/13
For those of you who love the crisp, chalky salinity of fine Chablis, the name Billaud should ring a few bells. Domaine Billaud-Simon, currently under the direction of Bernard Billaud, has been a powerhouse in old school Chablisienne quality for two centuries now, since 1815. Samuel, nephew of Bernard, began making the wines at Billaud-Simon some twenty years ago and for two decades all was well enough. However, as is so often the case with large personalities, family tensions flared due to differing opinions about vinification. There was a schism and in 2009 Samuel founded his fledgling, super-hot, micro-négoce project, Domaine Samuel Billaud.
Due to his deep roots in Chablis, Samuel is able to source grapes from some of the finest, most well-established growers in both premier and grand cru terroirs Currently, as a result of the resolution of a law suit, combied with the sale of the Domaine, Samuel was able to acquire some vines of his own, and is now branching out with other premier and grand cru parcels. Premier and Grand Cru sees 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.