2020 Samuel Billaud Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre$59.99
It has been far too long since we have offered anything from Samuel Billaud, but we have a fantastic cru from this small address today featuring one of the favorite Chablis vineyards, Montee de Tonnerre.
The Billaud name is easily recognized in Chablis thanks to Billaud-Simon; in fact, Samuel was the winemaker at Billaud Simon for almost 20 years before leaving in 2015 to start his own label, which we have seen many producers do with fantastic success. The experience that he gained working for his family was immeasurable, and he’s now producing fantastic Chablis in a new facility where he is free to make wines how he wants. The wines here display an incredibly pure expression of Chablis, and Samuel, in just a few years, has already carved out a nice spot among the top address of Chablis. These wines are still relatively under the radar, but as we suspected, they are starting to gain traction, especially with the 2020 vintage, which is the best Samuel has produced yet from his new estate. A super classic example of Montee de Tonnerre from one of Chablis most proven winemakers, this is a fantastic wine and, with a bit of time in the cellar, should be phenomenal, rubbing shoulders with the best examples of Montee de Tonnerre this vintage.
Jasper Morris MW (Inside Burgundy) 92-95 points! "Always a first class cuvée chez Samuel Billaud, the Montée de Tonnerre in 2020 offers a gorgeous crisp pale colour, with real tension throughout. The nose is a bit backward, a pleasing flesh to finish, but the core is absolutely there. The light strawberry touch as well. Maybe not quite so persistent? Oh yes it is."
Wine Advocate (William Kelley) 93+ points! "The 2020 Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre is another notable success for Samuel Billaud this year. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of white flowers, citrus oil, white currants, freshly baked bread and beeswax, it's medium to full-bodied, ample and satiny, with a layered mid-palate underpinned by racy acids, concluding with a long, saline finish."
Burghound 93 points! "A restrained, elegant and pure nose displays notes of various floral influences, citrus, Granny Smith apples and mineral reduction. The refined but almost painfully intense medium-bodied flavors exhibit a lovely sense of minerality that adds a sense of lift to the impressively long and well-balanced finale. Lovely and really quite classy."
Vinous (Neil Martin) 92-94 points! "From two plots on Haut de Chapelot and one in the namesake vineyard, the 2020 Chablis Montée de Tonnerre 1er Cru has quite a deep bouquet of dried honey, mineral and hints of green olive, unfolding nicely in the glass. The palate is well balanced with fine poise and crisp acidity. Elegant and finessed toward the finish, where white peach and citrus peel linger on the aftertaste. Very promising."