Domaine Billard Père et Fils

 M. Jérôme Billard

La Rochepot

12.5 ha

 

Domaine Billard has approximately 12.5 hectares of vineyards in different appellations throughout the Cotes de Beaune. Their largest holdings are in the Hautes Cotes de Beaune with other small plots located in Saint Romain, Saint Aubin 1er Cru, Auxey Duresses and Beaune.

The domaine passed from father to son recently and Jérôme Billard has brought a new philosophy to his family domaine. Farming is done with respect for nature and follows the principles of organic farming. Yields are kept low through the use of cover crops and severe pruning and all the vines are harvested by hand. Only indigenous yeasts are used for the fermentation. Jérôme’s father sold his wine to the local cooperative but Jérôme is now estate bottling his entire production.

 

Hautes Côtes de Beaune Blanc and Rouge

There are about 20 villages included in the Hautes Côtes de Beaune appellation. These old villages, many of which are barely inhabited, are secluded in the hills and their vineyards are interspersed with woodlands and farms that grow a variety of products. The Billard family home and winery are located in one of these, La Rochepot, a small village noted for its elaborate 13th century chateau which is set into a rocky hillside.

Billard’s HCB Blanc is 100% Chardonnay. The 3 hectare vineyard has the place name “lieu dit” of La Justice. The soil is very chalky and the land has good drainage and exposure. The grapes are fermented in barrel and then matured for 10 months “sur lie” before bottling. The resulting wine is rich and well structured but also quite elegant.

The Billard HCB Rouge comes from a plot of 4 hectares with alluvial clay soil. Respecting the delicate nature of Pinot Noir, the extraction is obtained by foot pressing. The wine is then matured in barrel for 10 months. The rigorous bunch selection done in the vineyard before harvest insuring ripe and healthy grapes results in Pinot Noir fruit with a purity to its expression.

 

Saint Aubin

Saint Aubin is a small commune producing both white and red wines, located just behind the famous Montrachet vineyards. The soils are very chalky and the slopes can be quite steep. The whites have recently received a great deal of attention and the reds, of which there is only 57 hectares planted, are slowly making their way into the pantheon of classic Côtes de Beaune. The Billards have .75 hectares in Chardonnay planted in the 1er Cru vineyard “Vigne Moingeon” producing 300 cases a year and .32 hectares of Pinot Noir planted in the 1er Cru vineyard “Les Castets” producing about 100 cases per year. The “Vigne Moingeon” vineyard has a very chalky soil known as “marnes blanches” with good elevation and south-eastern exposure. The Saint Aubin Blanc is barrel fermented in wood from the Allier Tronçais forest. One third of the barrels are new and the wine remains in barrel “sur lie” for 15 months before bottling. The “Les Castets” vineyard is on a gentle incline and has a blend of “marnes blanches” and “marno calcaires” soils favoring the Pinot Noir grape. The Saint Aubin Rouge is fermented in vat with pigeages. It is matured for 15 months in Vosges and Troncais barrels one third of which are new.

 

Saint Romain

Saint Romain is a small appellation that is deserving of more attention. The vineyards are nestled between 900 and 1200 feet in elevation along a valley that runs east to west behind Meursault and Monthelie. The Billards own 2.25 hectares in Saint Romain with 1.25 h of Chardonnay planted in the lieu dit “La Combe Bazin”. The white wine is barrel fermented with 25% of new wood. It is matured “sur lie” for a year and is minimally fined and filtered before bottling. The “La Combe Bazin” terroir produces a wine with lively acidity which offers a perfect balance to the sensual mouth feel of classic white Burgundy. The Saint Romain Rouge is produced from 1 hectare on calcareous clay soil. The Pinot Noir is fermented in vat with indigenous yeasts and pressing is done partially by foot. The wine is matured in barrels, 20% of which are new, for 15 months. 

 

Auxey-Duresses

 The vineyards of Auxey-Duresses are located along hills overlooking a valley that extends from Meursault to the Hautes Côtes de Beaune with a predominantly east-west axis. Historically, it is an appellation whose wines were blended by negociants and sold under their own labels as Côtes de Beaune Villages. Recently, its potential for quality has been realized by independent producers who label their wine as Auxey-Duresses, and the appellation has received a good deal of recognition accordingly. Jérôme Billard produces approximately 400 cases from his two small plots in the adjacent lieu dits “Les Jonchères” and “Nampoillon”. The soils are a mix of clay and chalk. The wine is fermented in vat with delicate pressings and extraction. It is matured in 20% new barrels for one year. The wine is aromatic and delicately structured with an elegant yet firm character.

 

Beaune “Les Bons Feuvres”

Beaune is the third largest commune in the Côte D’Or after Gevrey Chambertin and Meursault. Most of the vineyards are classified as Premier Cru with smaller parcels of “village” wine on the southern and northern fringes. Les Bons Feuvres is one of the “village” parcels in the southwest corner of the appellation quite close to Pommard. The Billards own a mere .28h of Les Bons Feuvres from which they produce about 120 cases annually. The wine is vinified in stainless steel tanks with a maceration of 15 days. The “pigeage” is done by foot. The wine is matured for a year in Tronçais oak barrels, 20% of which are new.