2016 Jean & Sébastien Dauvissat Chablis 1er Cru ‘Vaillons’

$45

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Amongst the 1er crus at the Dauvissat domaine, the Vaillons is perhaps the most typical “Chablisien” with its clear reference to the Kimmeridgian subsoils … an intensely mineral wine with a persistent core of tart fruit and citrus blossom.

Lutte Raisonnée farming practices and less than 700 cases produced.

Pair with shellfish or goat cheese.

    Pairs with

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Chardonnay

As one of the most popular grapes for growing and consuming, Chardonnay can be made in a wide range of styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. These styles can vary from a sparkling Blanc de Blanc, or fresh fermented in stainless steel, to rich and creamy white wine aged in oak barrels. While Chardonnay can flourish in many environments, in its homeland of Burgundy it can produce some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. Whereas from California it can produce both oaky, buttery styles as well as leaner, European-inspired wines. A Somm secret: the Burguny subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style with high levels of acidity. Most people who do not like oaky/buttery Chardonnay may likely enjoy Chablis.

Notable regions for this grape include Burgundy (and Chablis) in France, Central Coast, Napa, and Sonoma in CA, and Western Australia.

When pairing with meals, consider the characteristics, flavors, and acidity of your food first. You always want to try to match the same characteristics and intensities with your wine. No brainer pairing options include seafood, salads, and white meat. Chardonnay, with its vast versatility, is everyone’s best friend.

Chablis, France

An appellation in Burgundy and pristine style of wine all in itself. Chablis lies on the most-northern end of Burgundy, France where the weather is cool and the acidity is high. Fun fact about Chablis: the only grape varietal permitted in this region is Chardonnay. Chablis also has this special Kimmeridgean soil composed of limestone, clay, and fossilized oyster shells making these wines especially unique and a perfect pairing to drink with oysters and seafood! Chardonnay from Chablis can show pleasantly ripe, concentrated, citrus fruits with mouth-watering high acidity. Some producers age a portion of their wines in old oak to give them a rounder texture and relaxed flavor palate or keep the entire yield in stainless steel or concrete to preserve the pure fruit flavor. Chablis also has a vineyard hierarchy where the lesser/flatter lands may be labeled as Petit Chablis. The higher designated vineyard sites may be labeled as premier cru or grand cru. Age these beauties, or enjoy now with a full order of Oysters to share. 

Jean Dauvissat, and his son Sebastian, are the most recent in an extended line of the Dauvissat family that has been in possession of this notable domaine since 1899. The cave is positioned under the family house which dates from the 17th century and where the road to the hamlet of Chichée begins. The first formal bottling of wines under the Dauvissat label occurred on a limited scale in 1963. Then, in 1978 and 1979, Jean Dauvissat increased production to 3,000 bottles per annum. The physical expansion of the domaine under his management, along with ever-increasing quality and accompanying renown, has resulted in the cessation of sales to negociants and the bottling of the entire annual production of approximately 50,000 bottles. An unfortunate accident resulted in the untimely death of Jean Dauvissat several years ago. Sebastien Dauvissat continues the work of this historic domaine in collaboration with Evelyne Dauvissat, Jean’s wife.

 

The domaine encompasses slightly less than 10 hectares of vineyards. The Grand Cru vineyards are south-facing; the 1er Cru vineyards have a full southeast exposure; and the village property faces northwest. All are hillside sites with an “argilo-calcaire” soil composition heavily marked by small stones that provide for excellent drainage. Of course, the entire vineyard surface is underlain by the Kimmeridgian limestone that makes Chablis one of the most unique wine-producing areas in the world.

Harvest levels vary extensively according to age of vines and vintage conditions. Levels for the village wine may reach 60 hectoliters per hectare in particularly generous years whereas the 1er Cru vineyards usually yield approximately 45 to 50 hectoliters per hectare. However, the old vines section of Vaillons (composed in large part of vineyards in excess of 65 years of age) frequently yields less than 25 hectoliters per hectare. The other vineyards are planted to vines between 20 and 40 years of age.

The cellars of the Dauvissat domaine are equipped with the most modern materials. Fermentation and elevage of the village and premier cru wines occurs for the most part in stainless steel. The old vines cuvee of Vaillons and the Les Preuses are partially barrel fermented and barrel aged with about 25% of the oak being new. The wines are traditionally bottled 18 to 20 months after harvest. On occasion, certain of the other 1er Crus may pass part of the elevage in barrel as well, particularly when harvest levels are low.

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