80 year old vines bequeath the wine tangy freshness, mineral tension, floral elegance, filigree-like structure and a long, persistent finish. This is habitually the most complex of the Billaud-Simon premiers crus – no surprise given its proximity to Grand Cru Les Clos – and this year is no exception.
The 2016 Chablis Montée de Tonnerre 1er Cru, which is matured 14 to 16 months in stainless steel, has a broody, stony, very classic bouquet that you might call "vrai Chablis". The palate is balanced with good depth, though it does not quite deliver the charm and panache of its peers. There are pleasant green apple and gooseberry notes on the finish, but I would have liked to see a little more precision.
Tank sample. A little more spice and oatmeal on the nose here than on the Mont de Milieu, more sign of oak, but not overdone. Seems to have a little less fruit concentration than the Mont de Milieu. It's a little leaner but still very long. Fabulous mouth-watering finish. Drink 2020-2030 (JH)
Bernard Billaud sold his estate to the Cote d’Or’s largest landowner, Maison Faiveley, in 2014 and it is heartening to see this famous Nuits St Georges house both maintaining and driving the quality ideals of this great Chablis estate ever further forward. This substantial domaine of 17 hectares comprises exceptional vineyard sites including four premiers crus and four grands crus. Mature vineyards and minimal use of oak produce crisp and driven wines which are delicious in youth and fabulous with some age. The individual terroirs always shine through.
Chablis is world famous for its fine white wines produced from the Chardonnay grape. The best vineyards are perched above the winding Serein river and are south or southwest facing ensuring better ripeness in this cooler climate. It has four appellation levels. Petit Chablis is the most modest and simple followed by Chablis, which is the largest and most prominent. Premier cru Chablis is the third largest appellation and encompasses almost 40 different climats or vineyards including the famed Montée de Tonnerre, Fourchaumes and Mont de Milieu. The most noble of all Chablis are the grand crus of which there are 7 climats in total Bougros, Les Preuses, Vaudésir, Grenouilles, Valmur, Les Clos and Blanchot. The wines of Chablis have remained some of the best value in the world, particularly their superb grand crus which can easily cost 50% less than its closest revered white grand cru neighbour, Corton Charlemagne.