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.
This is the largest and undoubtedly the most renowned of the Chablis climats and is situated between Valmur, to the West, and Blanchots, to the East. Its exposure lends the wine its generous structure and strength. The term “Les Clos” surely makes reference to the closed walls that previously surrounded the parcel but which disappeared centuries ago.
Total surface area: 26 ha / Surface area of our parcel: 0 ha 37 a
Soils: Kimmeridgian. Deep, dense, white clay
Exposure: Right bank. South – South/East
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.
The winter of 2020 was surprisingly warm and dry. The growing cycle got off to a very early start with bud burst around the 26th March. Severe frosts in early April were a cause for concern, with temperatures around -7°C. Fortunately, the very low humidity levels helped to preserve the vines. After a second cold spell (known as the Ice Saints), flowering began around the 25th May. After a very hot and dry summer, the vines received much needed rain in early August (around 60mm), helping through to harvest.
Harvest took place between the 27th August and 6th September in glorious sunshine, and grapes were healthy and well-balanced. The pickers mainly worked in the mornings to ensure that the fruit was still cool when it arrived in the winery. Harvest started with Chablis Grand Cru ‘Blanchots’ followed by the other Grands Crus between the 1st and 4th September. The last parcel to be picked was Chablis ‘Tête d’Or’.
The wines are showing excellent alcohol-acidity balance and remarkable concentration, combining freshness and purity.
Super concentration of flavours on the nose, lemon, honey, fresh bread with an underlying salinity. The 2019 vintage of Les Clos is powerful, dense and fleshy and offers excellent length which is balanced by a saline freshness.
Filet of john Dory with chervil butter, spicy cod loin, tiger prawns flambé.
10°C to 12 °C
95 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Unwinding in the glass with notes of lemon oil, nutmeg, clear honey, apple blossom, fresh bread and oyster shell, the 2019 Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos is full-bodied, deep and layered, with huge reserves of concentration that are framed by lively acids and chalky extract. Racy and saline, it’s a muscular but precise Les Clos that will demand a bit of patience. The 2019 vintage has turned out brilliantly, and everything reviewed here comes warmly recommended. (WK)
92-94 points Allen Meadows – Burghound
There is outstanding concentration and punch to the powerful and palate coating flavours that deliver excellent length on the balanced finish that is markedly saline. While the oak is prominent at present, it should ultimately integrate, and my predicated range offers the benefit of the doubt in that regard.