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Daniel-Etienne Defaix, Chablis 1er Cru “Vaillon”Burgundy, France 2006 (750mL)

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Daniel-Etienne Defaix, Chablis 1er Cru “Vaillon” Burgundy, France 2006 (750mL)

“Defaix remains one of the final guardians of immeasurably long aging in the cellar and genuine value in the bottle. We’ve waited literal years for him to release his lineup of 2006s, and today’s 1er Cru Vaillon is the grand debut. This is one of the fine wines of the world, period.”

Defaix’s family has been producing wine in and around this region since the 1500s. Defaix works almost exclusively with Chardonnay and his ample collection of Premier Cru vineyards are farmed entirely by hand and fertilized with natural compost and manure. It’s an ancient and devoutly traditional operation in the vines. It’s also worth mentioning that his ~50-year-old “Vaillon” holdings lie in the heart of the original Premier Cru parcel, before the vineyard was expanded to include other microclimates. Still, I’d say that the most exciting and unique aspect of this property is what happens in the cellar. Over the last handful of centuries, the Defaix family has amassed a sprawling collection of Premier Cru acreage in Chablis—yet very little of the fruit it produces ends up in wine with a Defaix label! With 70+ acres of vines in the region, Daniel-Etienne oversees a ruthless triage (sorting) every harvest that banishes all but the finest, most pristine grapes to the négociant (merchant) market. Only a minuscule amount of peak-quality product remains for fermentation in the Defaix cellar. 

 Unlike so many other older white Burgundies in the market, there is no premature oxidation, no watery finish, and zero cracks in its foundation. As usual, it’s a bonafide masterpiece that will continue evolving for many years to come. In the glass, it reveals star-bright aromatics in the form of crushed yellow apple, pineapple core, salt-preserved Meyer lemon, lime blossoms, quince, crushed almonds, lees, honeysuckle, gardenia, pulverized chalk, seaspray, and bergamot orange zest. It’s beautifully layered palate is medium-bodied and intensely mouthwatering, thanks to surging waves of crushed-stone minerality.

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionBurgundy / Chablis
  • Sub-RegionPremier Cru Vaillon
  • SoilKimmeridgian Limestone
  • FarmingOrganic
  • BlendChardonnay 100%
  • Alcohol13%
  • Temp.Serve at 50-55° F
  • GlasswareBurgundy Stems
  • DrinkingNow-2026+
  • Decanting15 Minutes
  • PairingRaw Oysters

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