Chablis VaillonsPremier Cru
Grape Variety :
Site: very close to the village of Chablis, on the south west side. It is one of the seven Premier Crus due to its excellent exposure and kimmeridge soil concentration, giving it the easily recognizable character of Chablis.
History & tradition: in the sixties, when the Chablis vineyards were all but abandoned, Robert Drouhin recognized the potential of this region which had been ravaged by the phylloxera disease a century before. He was one of the first Burgundy propriétaires who set about revitalizing the area.
Soil: the Kimmeridgian limestone contains millions of tiny marine fossils embedded in a kind of whitish mortar which may have been once the bottom of the sea...hundreds of million years ago. This marine origin gives the wines of Chablis their unique flavour.
Drouhin estate: 2.1 ha. (5.25 acres).
Average age of the vines: 30 years.
Biological cultivation since 1990 and biodynamic cultivation since 1999.
Soil maintenance: age-old methods. Ploughing: "buttage" (hilling up around the vine-stocks) in autumn; "débuttage" (ploughing back in spring); work between the rows and the vine stocks done with manual tools only.
Treatment: only authorized products for biological cultivation are used - infusions and macerations of plant materials, sulfur and copper, powdered rock. Natural predators are not eliminated.
Plantation density: 8,000 to 10,000 stocks/ha.
Pruning: double Guyot "Vallée de la Marne" (for its resistance to frost).
Yield: we aim for a lower yield, such as it existed before the new law. This yield is therefore the present maximum yield minus 20%.
Average yield at the Domaine: 56.82hl/ha (the yield currently authorized for the appellation is now 58hl/ha).
Harvesting: by hand.
Pressing: very slow so as to respect the fruit. Juices from the last pressings are not retained.
Type: in oak barrel (0% new wood).
Length: 12 months.
Origin of the wood: French oak forests.
Weathering of the wood: Joseph Drouhin insists on total control of the weathering for a period of 3 years, one of the contributing elements to the elegance of the wine.
Follow-up: barrel by barrel.
Throughout the ageing process, decisions are taken only after careful tasting evaluation. The data obtained is completed through technical analysis. As with every other Joseph Drouhin wine, absolute priority is given to the true expression of terroir and character of the vintage.
Tasting note by Véronique Boss-Drouhin
"A dry and brisk wine, typical of Chablis. Brilliant yellow-green colour with green reflections. On the nose mineral and complex aromas are reminiscent of lemon and white flower, together with vegetal hints such as asparagus or artichoke and marine notes. On the palate, the first impression is clear-cut and sharp. Long on the aftertaste, with fruity as well as mineral flavours; becomes slightly honey-scented when the wine is more evolved".
The wines show great purity of taste and a pleasant floral style. Chablis is very mineral in character, almost briny.
Temperature: 13°C (53°F).
Cellaring: 3 to 8 years.