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The wines of Billaud-Simon, Chablis

Quai de Reugny, BP46, 89800 Chablis, France

A family-owned domaine with 20 ha of vines, including holdings in three grand cru vineyards – Clos, Preuses and Vaudésir. Winemaking is in the hands of Samuel Billaud, together with his uncle Bernard Billaud. The wines here are very exciting, representing top-notch, typical Chablis. Even the basic Chablis is a compelling wine. Only a little oak is used here, for certain cuvees only. These wines are available from the Wine Society, among others – their prices are quoted in brackets after each note. I’d be happy to drink anything with Billaud-Simon’s name on it.

Billaud-Simon Chablis 2001
Intense savoury, nutty, minerally nose, with a touch of herbiness. Very classic. The palate shows a good concentration of lemony, herby fruit with some delicious minerality. Very good/excellent 90 (£9.25)

Billaud-Simon Chablis Tête d’Or 1999
A little oak used here. Taut, complex herby nose which is intense with some minerality. The palate shows more of this mineral complexity underlying the herby, nutty fruit. Appealing with a challenging structure. Very good/excellent 91 (£10.95)

Billaud-Simon Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons 2000
Taut, minerally nose with a lemony edge. The palate is quite concentrated, with mineral and citrus fruit character. Youthful but elegant and with good potential. Very good+ 88 (£12.95)

Billaud-Simon Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnnere 2000
Refined, delicate nose with some nuttiness. The palate shows good concentration, but is currently a little taut and closed. Nice structure and potential for the future. Very good/excellent 90 (£13.95)

Billaud-Simon Chablis 1er Cru Mont de Milieu 2000
Elegant tight nose is seamless with minerality and pure lemony fruit. The palate is crisp and pure with great concentration. Tight at the moment with refined acidity; needs time, but lovely purity. Very good/excellent 91 (£14.50)

Billaud-Simon Chablis 1er Cru Mont de Milieu Vieilles Vignes 2000
Half of this is fermented and aged in oak. Hint of toasty oak on the nose but it is very much supporting the minerally, nutty fruit. Nicely poised and expressive. The palate shows good concentration of nutty fruit – firm and taut, but with some richness, too. Very good/excellent 91

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