Domaine Bernard Defaix, "Côte de Lechet" Vieilles Vignes, Chablis Premier Cru 2018
World class Chablis from one of the most prestigious producers and vineyards in all of Chablis.
Domaine Bernard Defaix farms organically from only their own vines – all domaine holdings. This beautiful release comes from what's arguably one of the finest and most long-lived crus of Chablis: Côte de Lechet.
And not only does this come from the vaunted terroir of one of Chablis's most underrated Premier Cru terroirs, it's a select bottling of the oldest vines (vieilles vignes) from the plot.
Treated classically in the cellar, it's fermented in stainless steel and neutral French cask where the wine slowly, surely develops the broad and rich flavors of a classic Premier Cru, held together by tension provided the millennia-old fossilized soils. Walking the vineyard here you can still see evidence of oyster shells, ammonites, and other prehistoric fossils when this area was once a shallow tropical sea, some 150 million years ago. In fact, they found perfectly preserved fossils of Exogyra Virgula, a rare, extinct species of oyster.
Wintermint, salty tide pool, savory herbs, lemon preserve, ginger, white flowers – it's all here! Quietly powerful, subtly aromatic, with a long, haunting finish that speaks of why site matters so much. In essence: terroir.
The wine cognoscenti also have lots to say about this wine. To wit:
"Brilliantly racy, ripe enough fruit of course but the terroir is shining through giving the dry saline finish after white fruit."
– Jasper Morris, Inside Burgundy
"The 2018 Chablis Côte de Léchet 1er Cru is gracious and quite appealing. Mint, wild flowers and a touch of tropical fruit give this racy, aromatic 1er Cru its distinctive personality. This airy, refined 1er Cru will drink well upon release."
– Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
"Rich, bold and muscular flavors where a distinct minerality adds lift to the sappy and markedly dry finish...Outstanding."
– Allen Meadows, Burghound