Thursday, January 23, 2014
































January 16, 2014-“A tale of 2 Chablis”- The Napoleonic land laws are difficult for Americans to wrap their heads around, and the peculiarities of 200 years of family dynamics are worth steering clear of. Nonetheless, we visited 2 producers that share a bit more in common than just their last names. Samuel Billaud  and Domaine Billaud Simon are 2 premier producers in Chablis. Samuel was winemaker at his family’s Domaine until around 2006. He has left and politics and family dynamics being what they are, we’ll skip ahead to our tastings today. First we met with Samuel, who is now categorized as a “micro-negociant”. He does purchase fruit from Grand and Premier Crus, but he has contracts that allow him to dictate farming and when to pick, and this is key. We tasted through a range of 2012 Grand and Premier Crus including Mont de Milieu, Montée de Tonnerre, Les Preuses and of course, Les Clos. Immediately, we were able to sense Samuel’s style, a slight tact towards the fruit and weight, while balancing minerality and acidity. Samuel picks a bit earlier than some of his colleagues and the result probably gives more malic acid that tartaric as well as a lower alcohol. The wines are stunning and youthful. That evening, we visited Domaine Billaud Simon. As we tasted through these wines at the prestigious and incredibly important Domaine, we noticed a differnt style, one that is much more linear and racy. Minerality to spare, the only wine we detected much fruit on was the 2007 Vaudesir, and it became quite clear that these wines have an electricity to them that requires time.


The takeway was an eye opening stylistic distinction between these 2 very well-respected wineries. As we drove the 1+ back to our Git in Santenay, the debate between style preference was a study in passion and how experienced palates can disagree on style preference so passionately.

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