Domaine Billaud-Simon is renowned for producing some of the best wines in Chablis, long recognised for their steely, mineral style. Domaine Billaud Simon owns 20 hectares of vineyards in some of the best areas in Chablis. Most of the domaine’s wines see no oak at all, apart from the Premier Cru Mont de Milieu which is 40% vinified in oak and the Grand Cru Les Blanchots, which is 100% vinified in oak.
The name of this climat – that can be spelt in several different ways – originates from its geographical location. It lies at the foot of the ‘Bougros’ hillside. The Serein river runs just a few metres from here and was often flooded in the past. For this reason, the pathway led
along ‘la pierreuse’, just before ‘boquereau’ and became ‘Bougros’ over time meaning ‘a narrow pathway next to the water’s edge’ (Bouque in old French means ‘narrowing’).
Total surface area: 12 ha 60
Soils: Clay-limestone with a higher clay content than the other Grand Crus
Exposure: Right bank. South – South/West
Grape variety: Chardonnay
Hand harvested in order to preserve the quality of the fruit. The grapes are sorted manually on a vibrating sorting table in order to retain only the most healthy fruit. The grapes are drained naturally before being pressed using a pneumatic press in order to gently extract the juices and conserve as much aroma as possible. Static cold settling of the musts for 12 to 24 hours in stainless steel vats in order to obtain a bright, clear juice. Alcoholic fermentation followed by malolactic fermentation, both natural, in stainless steel vats. 15 months in stainless steel vats with, if necessary, some time spent in French oak barrels in order to preserve freshness and minerality whilst bringing complexity and richness to the wine. The wine is racked twice before being bottled in the end of Autumn.
It was a very classic winter, with average levels of rain and temperatures. In late March that changed, with a spell of unseasonably warm temperatures, over 27C, which lead to a much earlier bud burst. Once again, Chablis was hit with severe frosts as the cold weather returned in early April. For seven nights (5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 12th, 13th and 14th April) the frost set in, and the teams were out in the vineyards trying to protect the newly formed buds. The left bank of the Serein and the upper plateau were the most impacted, notable losses in Les Vaillons and Petit Chablis. Flowering took place in mid-June and was quick and heterogeneous, and Summer was cool and humid until late August and early September when temperatures increased. Harvest began on the 18th September. Vigorous sorting took place at the winery, and this year Billaud-Simon recorded lower than average yields, around 30hL/ha, and in some Grand Cru parcels making less than 2 barrels.
The 2021 harvests in figures: 6 days of cutting, 30 pickers, 32 parcels harvested.
A remarkably rich Grand Cru, thanks to the use of oak. The nose reveals intense mineral notes combined with aromas of candied fruit and orange marmalade. The palate is rich and unctuous with notes of gingerbread. The structure is both firm and round, the finish is elegant with lingering saline notes. Just 2 barrels were produced in the 2021 vintage.
Oysters, frog’s legs, skate wing in a creamy parsley sauce.
10°C to 12 °C
Vinous Media: 89-91 Points
Allen Meadows: 89-92 Points