Domaine Daniel-Etienne Defaix / Chablis


Late Bottled Vintage Chablis From A No Compromise Operation

One of the oldest properties in Chablis and with family winemaking ancestry stretching back some 400 years, this is a domaine with important historical presence. This producer pretty much rips up the rule book, with their ethos and approach unmatched in Chablis, or pretty much anywhere for that matter.

The 30 hectare estate has significant Premier Cru plantings, though only material from the oldest 20 ha of vines makes it into the estate wines, the rest sold to the local co-op. Juice is given an oxidative splash out of the press, with inoxidative handling thereafter. No oak is used in the élevage, with weight and texture brought about through extended skin contact, long and slow wild ferments, no artificial rushing of malolactic fermentation which can take months, and an inoxidative bâtonnage technique of drawing fine lees from the bottom of tanks to the top, typically for two years for Premier Crus and up to three years for the Grand Cru wines.

Most critically, the wines receive significant ageing in tank – sometimes up to 12 years. They are bottled unfined and unfiltered, and receive a further six months in bottle before release. The resultant wines are certainly ready to drink, but with a freshness belying vintage date and certainly built for further bottle ageing. To call this approach unique is an understatement, perhaps only similarly seen in late bottled vintage Port. The resultant wines however are quite monumental expressions, a must try for any Chablis enthusiast.

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  • Domaine Daniel-Etienne Defaix Chablis VV 2019

    $ 82.00 incl. GST

    Although the estate’s entry level wine, nothing entry level about it.  Fruit is harvested from 70 year old vines, and after a little skin contact to build texture it sits in stainless steel tanks for 18 months, with monthly batonnage via less pump overs to build further weight.  The wine then sits in bottle a further six months before release.

    An interesting release here for sure – not classically Chablis due to a pronounced oxidative character upfront; drinks more like a Jura.  Leads with flor-lees saline and brine, though keeps fresh and tight through the finish with green fruits and white flowers.  Thought provoking, unusual, and absolutely hums alongside the right food pairings such as French Onion Soup.