Wine of the week: how to find great Chablis

Wine expert Matthew Jukes reveals the trade secret to buying Chablis for your cellar.


2014 Chablis, Samuel Billaud, Burgundy, France (£99.00, for a case of 12 bottles in bond, Lay & Wheeler , 01473-313233).

Wine professionals rarely bang on about the wines we buy for our own cellars for fear of missing out next year, and there is a covert but tangible move in the upper echelons of the wine trade towards buying top end Chablis for home consumption. The reason is that there is a gulf between the larger-volume producers' wines that you can buy on the high street and those from finely crafted, boutique estates.

I like the crisp minerality of the chardonnays from this part of the world and also the restrained use of oak they won't leave you slumped in a heap in the middle of the dinner table after a few hefty palate-pulverising whites. So where do you find great Chablis? "On allocation" is the answer you need to get friendly with your Burgundy specialist merchants otherwise you will only ever sup big name producers' wines. Occasionally a few wines come along which are great value and of the highest quality.

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My featured wine is one and its big brother 2014 Chablis, 1er Cru Monte de Tonnerre, Samuel Billaud (£168 in bond, dozen) is another. You must add duty and VAT to these "in bond" prices, but these two have more depth and finesse than an ocean of high street pretenders and they are still superb value.

Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year (

Matthew Jukes

Matthew Jukes has worked in the UK wine business for well over three decades and during this time has written 14 wine books.  

Matthew regularly lectures, judges, speaks at wine conferences and runs masterclass tastings for both corporate and private clients all over the world. Matthew is also the creator of his ground-breaking initiative, the One Day Wine School, an indulgent day of tasting and learning first performed in 2006.

He has been the MoneyWeek wine correspondent since 2006 and has written a weekly column for the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine since 1999. His four highly-acclaimed, annual wine reports – the Burgundy En Primeur Report, the Bordeaux En Primeur Report, the Piemonte Report and the 100 Best Australian Wines – are published on his website,

Matthew is one of the world’s leading experts on Australian wine and, with Brisbane-based wine writer Tyson Stelzer, runs an annual competition in Australia to find ‘The Great Australian Red’.  He was made Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK at the 2012 Australia Day Foundation Gala dinner. 

Matthew is a winner of the International Wine and Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year Trophy.  His thoughts, recommendations and tastings notes are followed very closely by the wine world at large.