Chablis 1er Cru - Les Lys - 2010 - Daniel-Etienne Defaix - Chablis - France


White Wine

Sebastien Dampt

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Mature Chablis is worth waiting for.  2009 was a wonderful vintage in the Chablis region: warm and sunny, low rainfall and northerly breezes ensuring healthy, well-ripened grape.  This wine has glorious complex earthy notes on the nose with mineral undertones, immense depth and texture on the palate and superb zesty length with notes of buttered brioche.

On the very rare occasion I eat lobster this is the wine I would choose. If I were cooking, I’d do my signature pan fried scallops with bacon and guacamole. It has the power and complexity to match a ripe Epoisses, the archetypal ‘stinky’ cheese from Burgundy.

Defaix is the oldest domaine in the region.  45-50 year old vines are grown on south facing slopes on Kimmeridgian clay soils that make Chablis so special. 14th generation winemaker Daniel-Etienne Defaix continues the family tradition of keeping the wine on its lees for many years – in this case four years in tank following malolactic conversion. During this period there was monthly bâtonnage (lees stirring). The bâtonnage breaks up the fine lees and releases glycerine which acts as an antioxidant, this contributes to the wine ageing so well.  This tradition historically ensured that there would be wine to sell every year, given the high risk of frost in the region, nowadays it lends great complexity and distinction.

The Les Lys climat in the Vaillons Premier Cru is on northeast-facing hills in sight of the town of Chablis.