The 2015 Chablis 1Er Cru Les Vaillons Vieilles Vignes comes from a parcel of 70-year-old vines adjacent to Sécher. Samuel Billaud commented he has found that this particular cuvée has become more saline and minerally in barrel. It has a very complex bouquet with scents of wet limestone, yellow plum and a touch of white peach. The palate is fresh on the entry with a touch of orange rind, steely and linear; it is strict for a Vaillons, with a precise and stony finish that lingers nicely in the mouth. This should represent an enticing Chablis once in bottle. There’s a new guy in town. That guy in Samuel Billaud and more accurately, he is returning to the town of Chablis after being embroiled in a family dispute with his uncle Bernard Billaud, when he sold the domaine to Faiveley (still under the Domaine Billaud-Simon name, incidentally). As a consequence, there was an interregnum whereby Samuel occupied a temporary facility outside Chablis in the village of La Chapelle-Vaupelteigne. Since I have been visiting Samuel, it was clear that he was itching to lay foundations more permanently and as luck would have it, he was able to move into the building previously occupied by Domaine Moreau-Naudet--located in the heart of the village, just down from Domaine Droin. (NM)
A notably floral nose displays notes of white pepper, apple, lemon-lime, orange peel and tidal pool nuances. The succulent, round and generously proportioned medium-bodied flavors possess good sap that coats the palate on the juicy and delicious finale where a touch of bitter lemon arises. This seductive effort could easily be enjoyed young.
Bright yellow. Lemon drop, smoke and clove on the nose; tighter and less extreme than the village wine. Fat, pliant flavors of ripe stone fruits and apricot are fresher than those of the 2015 village wine but do not show the mineral grip of the 2016 Vaillons. Spreads out nicely to saturate the palate on the rather glyceral back end, finishing with a suggestion of mirabelle.(ST)
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