The Third of the Stealth Cuvées!

Yes…we have been hiding more things from you!

 The third release of the secret stealth cuvées is now available.

A special Cuvée Rare bottling of 1994 Cuvee DD Sonoma Pinot Noir was produced that has been designated “Cuvée Billon.”



Barrel makers (les tonneliers) are the custodians of wine living art.

 This 2000 year old craft reaches a very high level in Burgundy where microsite (climat) differences, as small as hundreds of meters, delimit Grand Cru from Premier Cru from Village appellations, requiring barrels that can express and enhance these fine distinctions.

 This special cuvee is dedicated to the memory of Gaston Billon who pioneered the production of Burgundian barrels that resonated with Pinot Noir.

 Gaston started as a tonnelier in 1947 working in barrel repair until his son Jacques joined him in 1960 when Tonnellerie Billon was formed.

 Gaston Billon died in 1994 – this wine from an exceptional vintage, aged in an exceptional selection of Billon barrels, is dedicated to his craft and living art which continues with his son Jacques Billon.






The grape source is Demostene Ranch located in the Alexander Valley. The vineyard is the oldest Pinot Noir plantation in this region, and was established with a clone which produces small berries and low yields.  The soil is a mixture of clay, silt and limestone.  The vineyard is dry farmed and within one mile of the Russian River.

Winemaking and Cellar Practice:

A special selection of grapes were hand picked, sorted and crushed. The must was fermented on the skins in wooden cuves for three weeks.  The cap was punched down by hand three to four times each day.  The must was basket pressed, settled and transferred to all new Billon oak barrels.  Following the completion of malolactic fermentation, two exceptional barrels were selected and bottled without racking, fining or filtration in April 1996.


“Cuvee Billon” evokes the rich, terroir-driven, style of Burgundian Pinot Noir.  This intense wine possess exceptional fruit definition, combined with a richly textured palate and great length of finish. The particular characteristics are reminiscent of wild red fruits (cassis and cherries), exotic oriental spices, sous-bois and the ineffable aromas of Tonnellerie Billon.

Please note: This wine has been bottled without filtration to retain the essence of individual vineyard and vintage characteristics.  With bottle age, unfiltered wines will develop a deposit and should be served with care. 


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Last modified: November 27, 2009