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Jean-Paul Droin Chablis Vaillons Premier Cru 2012

Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
  • RP90
12.5% ABV
  • JS92
  • WS91
  • RP92
  • BH91
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12.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Leaving first a soft and very aromatic taste in the mouth, this wine rapidly lets out fresh fruit and mineral notes. It is the Premier Cru best inclined to be consumed when still young; though can age beautifully.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons has a reticent nose, tightly wound and lacking the fruit intensity that I was expecting. The palate is much better with saline notes threaded from start to finish. This is lively and tense, but it needs the aromatics to wake up! Drink 2015-2020.
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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 Grands Crus vineyards are all located at ideal elevations and exposition on the acclaimed Kimmeridgian soil, an ancient clay-limestone soil that lends intensity and finesse to its wines. The vineyards outside of Grands Crus are Premiers Crus, and outlying from those is Petit Chablis. Chablis Grand Cru, as well as most Premier Cru 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 is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy 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. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

BVVVAILLONS_2012 Item# 129610