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Jean-Paul Droin Chablis 2011

Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
    12.5% ABV
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    12.5% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Jean-Paul Droin Chablis is a wine with great finesse. Pleasant to drink while young with its slight fruitiness, or age for two to three years to develop a mineral taste. Outstanding vintages can even age ten years or more.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Jean-Paul Droin

    Jean-Paul Droin

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    Jean-Paul Droin, Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    Father Jean–Paul and son Benoît Droin can trace their family roots as vineyard owners back to the early 17th century. Through succeeding generations they have managed to acquire a little over 26 hectares of vineyards with extensive holdings in Premier and Grand Cru sites. Their best sites and oldest wines are still harvested by hand while many of their neighbors have replaced their old vines so they could machine harvest. In 1999 Benoît began plowing his vineyard to help revitalize the microbial life in the soils and at the same time he also began to prune his vines differently to decrease yields and reduce the disease pressures in this famously inclement appellation. Harvest are conducted early – just as the grapes reach ripeness so as to preserve the natural acidity in the final wines. The new cellar, built on the edge of the sleepy village of Chablis in 1999, see a mix of modern and traditional winemaking techniques where both stainless steel tanks and French oak barrels are used to make the wines. Fermentations are conducted, after a gentle pneumatic pressing, in stainless steel tanks by natural yeasts. Most of the barrels are used with only small percentages of new barrels introduced each year, primarily for the Grand Cru wines.

    The source of the most racy, light and tactile, yet uniquely complex Chardonnay, Chablis, while considered part of Burgundy, actually reaches far past the most northern stretch of the Côte d’Or proper. Its vineyards cover hillsides surrounding the small village of Chablis about 100 miles north of Dijon, making it actually closer to Champagne than to Burgundy. Champagne and Chablis have a unique soil type in common called Kimmeridgian, which isn’t found anywhere else in the world except southern England. A 180 million year-old geologic formation of decomposed clay and limestone, containing tiny fossilized oyster shells, spans from the Dorset village of Kimmeridge in southern England all the way down through Champagne, and to the soils of Chablis. This soil type produces wines full of structure, austerity, minerality, salinity and finesse.

    Chablis Grand Cru vineyards are all located at ideal elevations and exposition on the acclaimed Kimmeridgian soil while most of the vineyards in the outlying spots are referred to as Petit Chablis. Chablis Grand Cru, as well as some Petit Chablis, can age for many years.

    Chardonnay

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    One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

    In the Glass

    When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

    Perfect Pairings

    Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

    Sommelier Secret

    Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

    SWS333111_2011 Item# 141363