2010 Daniel-Etienne Defaix Chablis 1er Cru Les Lys
Daniel-Etienne Defaix owns one of the oldest estates in Chablis. The Defaix family has been winemakers from father to son for 4 centuries. The family estate is located on the oldest terroirs of Chablis, where monks on Pontigny made a selection a thousand years ago. The privileged exposure of the Pontigny monks was and still is a hill with a high slope facing south-east. An advantage for Chablis, which often suffers from frost in spring, and this privileged spot is the first to receive the sun's rays and therefore much less crop losses. Daniel-Etienne Defaix is the undisputed master of 'long-aged-chablis' There is no rush and they firmly believe that the wines must mature and this also testifies that they only release their Premier Crus after around 8 years but we have drunk performances from 30 years and older and these were even more than fantastic. These long-aged chablis from old years can also be ordered by us on request and of course we also have some of ours in our range. What makes this domain so unique, however, is not only the fact that no wood is used during the production process. The unique fruit of the old vines of the vineyards and time do their job and make all execution gems.
The Daniel-Etienne Defaix Chablis 1er Cru Les Lys only became available after more than 10 years. The soil of the old chardonnay premier cru vineyard is very old and lies on a soil of lime and marl with a south-east exposure. As 'Master of the Long Elevage', Daniel-Etienne Defaix gives everything its time, especially for his Premier Crus, which are often only released after an average of 8-12 years and then the wines are often still a baby. The alcoholic fermentation with natural yeast at 18 °C lasts about 3 weeks. The wine then matures for at least 18 months with monthly stirring of fine lees and then remains in tanks for at least 10 years before being bottled
The Daniel-Etienne Defaix Chablis 1er Cru Les Lys has aromas of candied citrus fruits, roasted nuts, beeswax, hay and dried fruit. In the mouth it is medium to full bodied, very delicate, fruity, mineral rich and with a fantastic freshness with a satiny but spicy finish. A classic premier Crus Chablis which has had approx. 10 years of aging on the lees before release and even then it is still a baby.
Millions of years ago, the area around the current town of Chablis was covered with sea. In the Jurassic era, the sediment-enriched clay of the Chablis region began to form, and it is this clay that gives the Chablis wine its unique elegance, freshness and complexity. Until the nineteenth century, the vineyards occupied a larger area around the small town of Chablis, on the river Serein, about halfway between Dijon and Paris. But the region fell victim to a phylloxera epidemic that damaged most of the vineyards. However, terroir in Chablis did not change. The cultivated hectares decreased significantly (from about 100,000 hectares in the whole department at the end of the 19th century to 10,000 hectares today in the Chablis region), but the soil, the climate and the expertise of the winemakers did not.
Chablis wines are classified as follows:
- Grand Cru , the cream of the crop. These come from vineyards north of the town of Chablis, on a steep south-facing slope. On the Route de Tonnere, from the intersection with the D91 to the intersection with Rue Blanchot, it is about a mile (less than two kilometers). Here, ranging in altitude from 135 to 220 meters, you will find the best vineyards of Chablis: Bougros, Les Preuses, Vaudésir, Grenquilles, Valmur, Les Clos and Blanchot.
- Premier Cru , excellent wines from vineyards grown on conveniently located slopes scattered throughout the area. Vau Ligneau, Vau de Vey and Côte de Léchet are narrow strips of land on steep east-facing slopes west of the village of Milly; Vosgros is a comma-shaped, west-facing vineyard on the northern part of a hill called Paradis, at an elevation of 590 to 689 feet (180 to 210 meters).
- Chablis, the designation given to good but not great wines that still benefit from the Chablis terroir. The vineyards involved are often less steep or not as well oriented compared to the vineyards that produce better valued wines.
- Petit Chablis , wines that earn the Chablis name but lag behind others from the region because they are made from grapes grown on less than ideal soil or north-facing slopes. (The word "petit," meaning "little," is a quality designation of sorts, as if "Petit Chablis" were the little brother of larger Chablis wines.)
With roots that are almost as deep as those of Chablis itself, a domain that has been passed down from father to son for 4 centuries, mostly old vineyards that almost all carry 1er or Grand Cru status and are mainly oriented south-east, all facets are available to make great wines. What makes this domain so unique, however, is not only the fact that no wood is used during the production process, but above all the fact that their top wines are marketed when they believe they are ready to drink, which can take up to 10 years to last.
Daniel-Etienne Defaix owns one of the oldest estates in Chablis. The Defaix family has been winemakers from father to son for 4 centuries. The family estate is located on the oldest terroirs of Chablis, where monks at Pontigny selected a thousand years ago to create the Chablis Appelation. Daniel-Etienne DEFAIX continues the secular and family tradition. The work on the vines remains traditional because a clean and healthy vineyard produces good quality grapes and therefore wines. The domain is 28 hectares, planted with Chardonnay on a typical soil called "kimmeridgien" (Jurassique supérieur, a marne argilo-calcaire with many oysters fossilized in it).
The privileged exposure of the Pontigny monks was and still is a hill with a high slope facing south-east. An advantage for Chablis, which often suffers from frost in spring, and this privileged spot is the first to receive the sun's rays and therefore much less crop losses. The unique style in Chablis consists of many secrets and gifts of this age-old domain and Daniel-Etienne Defaix is the undisputed master of 'long-aged-chablis' There is no rush and it is a firm belief that the wines must mature and this is evidence also that they only release their Premier Crus after 6-8 years but we've had versions here ourselves from 30 years and over and these were even more than fantastic.
Daniel-Etienne Defaix produces with respect for the family tradition:
- 2 Cuvées Chablis: Vieilles et Très Vieilles Vignes.
- 3 Chablis Premier Cru's : Les Lys, Vaillon and Côte de Léchet.
- 2 Chablis Grand Cru's : Blanchot and Grenouilles.
- 1 Bourgogne Rouge.
|Type of Wine||White|
|Drinking as of||2020|
|Tasting Profiles||Complex, Dry, Mineral, Tense, White fruit|
|Drink moments||Lekker luxe, Met vrienden, Romantisch|