Product information

Domaine Billaud-Simon Chablis Grand Cru Vaudésir 2021

Chardonnay from France, Chablis, Burgundy

$321

$306ea in any 3+
$291ea in any 6+
Closure: Cork

Description

The 2021 Chablis Vaudésir Grand Cru, which will see some cask ageing later on during its maturation, has a finely-tuned bouquet with nettle, granite and light white flower aromas. Good intensity. The palate is well balanced with a sapid entry and fine acidity; it’s just beginning to dumb down midway through, so the finish is missing the complexity expressed by the Blanchots. The cask ageing will fill this out a little, so it will be interesting to taste in bottle.

Allen Meadows, Burghound 93 Points NM 90-92

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Why is this Wine so Yummy?

Grand Cru Vaudésir covers 14.7 hectares of relatively steep hillside with an exposure south/southeast. Domaine Billaud-Simon’s plot is approximately .5 hectares. Soils here well drained and are made up primarily kimmeridgian (clay and limestone).

Manual harvesting is carried out at optimum ripeness levels (between 12 and 13°). The grapes are pressed in our pneumatic press and the musts then undergo cold maceration for a 5 to 7 day period before being settled and vinified. The alcoholic fermentation lasts between 15 to 18 days at the Domaine. The malolactic fermentation is usually initiated in December. The wine is aged for around 14 months including a period of time in French oak barrels if necessary. The wine is racked twice before being bottled in late autumn.

About Billaud-Simon

Domaine Billaud-Simon in Chablis is comprised of about 42 acres, encompassing four Grands Crus vineyards, including one acre in Les Clos; one acre in Les Preuses; 1.75 acres in Vaudésir; and .44 acre in Les Blanchots. The Domaine also owns four Premiers Crus vineyards, including Montée de Tonnèrre, Mont-de-Milieu, Fourchaume and Vaillons. In addition to its crus wines, Domaine Billaud-Simon makes a Chablis Villages “Tête d’Or”, with grapes harvested exclusively from the estate.

In 1815, at the end of the Napoleonic wars, Charles Louis Noël Billaud returned home to Chablis and founded Domaine Billaud-Simon. There, thanks to his family’s holdings, he planted the first vines. Then, a little more than a century later in the 1930s, the Domaine’s vineyards were enlarged with the marriage of his descendant Jean Billaud to Renée Simon.

Located close to the Serein River, Jean Billaud’s son, Bernard, took over the estate until its acquisition by Domaine Faiveley in July 2014. Since then, Domaine Billaud-Simon is managed separately from Domaine Faiveley: It has its own vineyard, winemaking facilities and remains dedicated to uphold the same style of the wines while continually striving to improve their quality. Along with technical improvements in the modern winery, manual grape picking is increasingly being practiced for their Grands Crus and selected Premiers Crus.

The Chablis wines of Domaine Billaud-Simon exhibit elegance, balance and pure Chardonnay fruit. Delicious when young, they evolve beautifully with some ageing.

Faiveley purchased the Domaine in 2013, bottling, but, not making the 2013’s. The changes saw a shift to harvesting the fruit earlier–with better nerve and natural acidity–than would have been the case here under Bernard Billaud. Since the acquisition, the wines have gone from strength to strength.

The 2021 Vintage at Billaud-Simon

This marked my first visit to Domaine Samuel-Billaud which was bought from the Billaud family by Faiveley. “We had to do a lot of selection before press and do a longer debourbage,” head winemaker Olivier Bailly told me. “The volume is 15-25hL/ha. We started picking around 15 September. It is a mineral and classic vintage. When you harvest by hand, you can parse out any grey rot grapes and obtain clear juice and good lees. For me, if you have good lees you can continue to work with the wine during its élevage over several months before bottling. For 2021, it is interesting to work this way. The pH is around 3.15 which is a good sign with a good spiciness compared to 2020. It is a different profile to 2017 but it is a classic Chablis. The wines are bottled under Diam 5 and 10 for the Premier Crus and Trescases corks for the Grand Crus.

Neal Martin, Vinous

Where in the World are Billaud-Simon’s Vineyards

All of the parcels at Domaine Billaud-Simon are planted within a two kilometre radius, on the left and right banks of the Serein, in the heart of this historical appellation. The Domaine currently counts four Grands Crus: Les Clos, Vaudésir, Les Preuses and Les Blanchots as well as four Premiers Crus: Montée de Tonnerre, Fourchaume, Mont de Milieu and Les Vaillons. It also produces wines from Petit Chablis and Chablis, including the “Tête d’Or”.

93 Points

The 2021 Chablis Vaudésir Grand Cru, which will see some cask ageing later on during its maturation, has a finely-tuned bouquet with nettle, granite and light white flower aromas. Good intensity. The palate is well balanced with a sapid entry and fine acidity; it's just beginning to dumb down midway through, so the finish is missing the complexity expressed by the Blanchots. The cask ageing will fill this out a little, so it will be interesting to taste in bottle.

Allen Meadows, Burghound

90-92 Points

A pure and notably more elegant nose offers up its aromas of pear, apple, spice, white flower, iodine and a hint of oyster shell. There is first-rate delineation to the gorgeously textured, even delicate, flavors that exhibit fine cut on the markedly dry, lemony and youthfully austere finale. This beauty could use more depth but given that it should easily repay up to a decade of keeping, improved complexity is all but a given.

Neal Martin, Vinous

Where in the world does the magic happen?

Domaine Billaud Simon, Quai de Reugny, Chablis, France

Chablis
Burgundy
France