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Golden in colour, the nose is beautifully expressive with ripe citrus notes and a delicate minerality. The palate is rich and complex, balanced by a refreshing acidity. The finish is long.
The 'vieilles vignes' are planted on Kimmeridgian marl soils on south facing slopes. The vines are 45 to 50 years old and yield exceptionally concentrated juice.
A cold and rainy start to 2013 postponed flowering and this had a knock-on effect on the whole growing cycle. However, a very sunny September ensured that the grapes attained optimum ripeness levels and the grapes were harvested at the end of the month.
The grapes were pressed very gently and then went through a cool fermentation in stainless steel with only natural yeasts. Malolactic fermentation was encouraged and the wine was then left for 2 years to age in tank on its fine lees. During this period monthly bâtonnage (lees stirring) took place which added extra texture and complexity to the wine.
Said to be the oldest domaine in Chablis, tracing its origins back to 1610, it is now run by Daniel-Etienne Defaix, 14th generation of the Defaix family. He took over from his father in 1978 and started making wine “as my grandfather had done”. This involved keeping the wine in tank for a protracted period and putting it through a monthly bâtonnage, a practice he retains to this day. “My grandfather’s generation used to keep the wine for so long in order to protect themselves against frost, to ensure they would always have wine to sell,” he explains. Nowadays, this approach is unique in Chablis, and the extended ageing before release gives the wines a lovely evolved character that adds complexity to their freshness.