My Favorite Wine, February 6, 2019

2005 Domaine Daniel-Etienne Defaix

Chablis Premier Cru Vaillon

Chablis, FR

Regular price $57.99

Sale Price $45.99

To some, Chablis is a white wine in a box. To others, Chablis is a region at the northern end of Burgundy, where Chardonnay is grown and made into wines that are of a style all its own. And to a few, the wines of Daniel-Etienne Defaix are among the finest examples of Chablis one can find.

The Defaix family has a 400 year history growing grapes and has been established in Chablis since the 18th century. Their holdings are among the most prestigious in the region and they make wine only one way: unhurried and carefully, allowing the wine to develop in its own time  and releasing only when the wine is nearing perfection. This 2005 spent 18 months in tank before bottling and then over 10 years in the cellar. It’s a stunning example of how beautifully and uniquely Chablis ages.

The round is rich and full with well developed flavors of caramel apple and brioche. Still buoyant with generous acidity, the freshness of the wine is impressive and delightful. Unoaked, the wine nonetheless projects an appealing smokiness that adds to the fruit flavors. If this is your first Chablis, it might ruin you for any other Chardonnay. If, on the other hand, you are familiar with Chablis, you might well despair of having never discovered Defaix previously.

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