Size & Type
Vincent Dauvissat are world-famous for their coveted holdings in Les Clos, producing wines with incredible levels of expressiveness, depth and complexity. These qualities come from a high percentage of old vines (a 50+ year average); a south-westerly exposure; and a classic Kimmeridgian soil that is mostly clay. Such soils are cool—cooler and retain less heat. They are most sensitive to frost in the spring and the fruit ripens more slowly, meaning more time to develop flavour and concentration.
Vincent Dauvissat is arguably the finest Domaine in Chablis, owning some of the oldest and best vineyards, including prized sections of the grand crus, Les Clos and Les Preuses. Established in 1931 by Robert Dauvissat, the Domaine has passed down from father to son for three generations. Robert’s son René is to thank for establishing the reputation of the Domaine. Vincent began working with his father, René, in the 1970s and today runs the Domaine.
The Dauvissats remain one of Chablis’ great traditionalists. As the torch has been passed down from generation to generation, little has changed here.
If anything, the wines have become increasingly profound since Vincent officially took reins in 1989. One significant change is his preference for natural farming, using vine treatments sparingly, if at all. In 2002 he oversaw the implementation of biodynamic farming methods. His approach to oak is carefully considered, used to add complexity and dimension to his piercingly mineral concentrated wines; some of barriques are 30+ years old.
They resulting wines are rarely exotic in their youth, tight as drum in fact. But with age – and they do age by gracefully by the decade – they evolve and develop into exciting wines of the sophistication and intrigue.
Vincent Dauvissat farms nearly 30 acres of meticulously kept vineyards, following sustainable, organic and biodynamic methods. These vines (4.5 acres of Vaillons, 2 of Séchets, and 9.4 of Fôrets among the Premiers Crus; 2.5 of Preuses and 4.5 of Les Clos among the Grands Crus) are splendidly situated on hillsides underlain by Jurassic limestone. Yields are limited to about 50 hectoliters per hectare (3.7 tons per acre), which is modest by the standards of the region.
Vinification at the domaine is painstaking and traditional at a time when many growers in Chablis have adopted methods permitting increased yields producing simple wines that reach maturity quickly. Vincent Dauvissat, on the other hand, gives all his wines at least a year in Nevers oak, a portion of which is new each vintage. This practice, imposed on top-quality grapes slowly and carefully fermented, results in wines that are deep, complex, and long-lived. They are clearly characteristic of their respective cru, exhibiting the steely bite so typical of Chablis, but with a purity, intensity of flavor, and structural soundness increasingly rare in the region’s wines.
Explore Chablis in the Wine Bites Mag Article “Getting Your Head Around Burgundy Part 10 – Chablis”
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