Domaine Bernard Defaix et Fils
Chablis “Côte de Léchet” ♥
1er Cru White 750 ml
Tasted: Oct 10, 2019
Producer note: Didier Defaix describes 2018 as a “surprising vintage in several different respects. First, we have never made so much wine yet despite the volume, the fruit was ripe, clean and produced unexpectedly dense wines. Second, given how hot and dry the summer was I never expected to have wines with such good acidity. We waited a few extra days to begin picking because we didn’t feel as though we had the phenolic maturity that we wanted. With that said, we also wanted to do everything possible to preserve the freshness so despite the volumes we completed the harvest in only 8 days when we normally need 12 to 13! The second thing we did in this respect was to vinify some wines either completely or partially in stainless steel rather than wood. The third thing was to do zero lees stirring as it seemed clear from the very beginning that the wines wouldn’t lack for richness or body. Potential alcohols were good without being really high, which is to say between 12.5 to 13.3% with reasonable acidities and post-malo pHs of around 3.2. I think the steps we took to preserve the freshness were helpful as the wines have real vibrancy and reasonably good typicity as well.” Defaix added that for his 2017s that “I think they’re going to age extremely well despite the fact that they’re already approachable.” The now in-bottle 2017s, revisited below, were bottled between September 2018 and February 2019. See also the related Domaine Jaeger-Defaix below in the section on the Côte Chalonnaise. (Winebow, Inc., www.winebow.com, NJ, Vigneron Imports, www.vigneronimports.com, CA, Old World Wine, www.oldworldwineco.com, CO, Winecraft, www.winecraft.us, OH and Vin de Garde Wines Ltd., www.vdgwines.com, OR, all USA; Alliance Wines, www.alliancewine.co.uk, Enotria Winecellars Ltd., www.enotria.co.uk, Flint Wines, www.flintwines.com, and Domaine Direct, www.domainedirect.co.uk, all UK).
Tasting note: The hallmark citrus influences are distinctly present on the oyster shell, apple and sea breeze-suffused nose. The almost pungently stony middle weight flavors possess both fine volume and mid-palate density while terminating in a grapefruit-infused, clean, intensely saline and dry finish. This too is quite good.