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Back in the early naughties, we were hoovering Chablis from the early 1970’s. When the Tsunami hit, wheelbarrows of Grand & 1er Cru’s were arriving from the auction houses at around $14 a bottle. By the time it receded, after everyone else had caught on, they were up at around $40 a bottle and still a bargain. Purity, complexity, amazing texture, lovely lines of acid were the hallmarks of these incredible wines. Testut et Fréres Grenouille featured! Such a great vineyard.

Today we offer Jean-Paul & Benoît Droin’s Chablis, including 6 Premier Cru’s and 4 Grand Cru’s – Valmur, Vaudésir, Les Clos, and, Grenouille. All wines are in Australia and will ship in January weather permitting.

People often cite Domaines Raveneau and Vincent Dauvissat as the two greatest exponents of Chablis, however, I would like to add a third – Domaine Jean-Paul & Benoît Droin. Over the last five or six years, Benoît Droin has really ratcheted up the quality. I cannot exaggerate how often Droin’s wines end up the best of the flight during the annual “Burgfest” blind tastings. Again and again, they shine against stiff competition. It is time to accept that Droin is now one of the leading producers in Chablis. Neal Martin

The 2017 Vintage at Droin

“It was easy and difficult,” Droin replied when I enquired about the 2017 growing season. “It was difficult because we had the problem with frost. We lost a lot in the Right Bank, especially Vaulorent and Montée de Tonnerre and in the Grands Crus. We had frost, but we protected the vine. Even in our parcels of Grand Cru, the weather was very cold for two weeks, while the nights were on the limit for frost, which made it difficult for the vines to grow. So with the cold conditions, the grapes didn’t form and we lost a lot of production [known as “vrille”]. Sometimes you would have one bunch instead of two or three. After that, for me, it was a perfect vintage with respect to the vegetative cycle. We had good temperatures, never too high or low, not too dry or wet. When it was hot we had rain, but not too much. I don’t like vintages with excessively high temperatures or too much rain, but in 2017 the maturation came naturally and maintained the tartaric acidity. So the grapes were perfect. I remember it was the first time in 20 years that I smelled the juice before pressing and it was so wonderful. We started the harvest on 2 September. In the end, it was such a pity to have such a small crop. That’s the difference with 2016. In 2016 the hail and frost affected Petit Chablis and Chablis. In 2017 it is OK for Petit Chablis and Chablis and not so good for the Premier and Grand Crus. In 2017 we lost around 50%, nearly the same as in 2016.”

The 2017s are incredibly exciting across the board: Chablis as it ought to be – full of tension, steely, poised and intense. The wines continue to represent outstanding value. Neal Martin

Can 2017 be considered a truly classic vintage in terms of terroir dictating the order of quality? Droin’s 2017s certainly sang this tune. Tasted from tank just prior to bottling, the wines were uniformly great; it was a tasting in which every single wine performed exactly to script. They communicate a fundamental understanding of each parcel while offering incredible value and enjoyment from Petit Chablis right the way through to the Grand Cru Les Clos. Nick Stock

Chablis Geology & Geography Explored

Detailed Map of Chablis

Click on any image to view full size map

This offer has expired, wines are subject to availability. We'll do our best to satisfy your tastebuds.

Jean-Paul et Benôit Droin's Delicious 2017 Chablis

  • $70ea in any 3+, $67ea in any 6+
    Price: $ 73.00 Quantity:
  • Premier Cru's
  • $103ea in any 3+, $98ea in any 6+
    Price: $ 108.00 Quantity:
  • $103ea in any 3+, $98ea in any 6+
    Price: $ 108.00 Quantity:
  • $116ea in any 3+, $111ea in any 6+
    Price: $ 121.00 Quantity:
  • $135ea in any 3+, $128ea in any 6+
    Price: $ 142.00 Quantity:
  • $132ea in any 3+, $125ea in any 6+
    Price: $ 139.00 Quantity:
  • $135ea in any 3+, $128ea in any 6+
    Price: $ 142.00 Quantity:
  • Grand Cru's
  • $195ea in any 3+, $185ea in any 6+
    Price: $ 205.00 Quantity:
  • $195ea in any 3+, $185ea in any 6+
    Price: $ 205.00 Quantity:
  • $219ea in any 3+, $209ea in any 6+
    Price: $ 229.00 Quantity:
  • $219ea in any 3+, $209ea in any 6+
    Price: $ 229.00 Quantity:
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About the Wines

Chablis

88-90 Points

The 2017 Chablis, due to be bottled in September, has a tightly wound, slightly chalky bouquet with hints of musk developing in the glass. The palate is well balanced with a satisfying sense of volume and precision, touches of orange zest, dried apricot and ginger with an elegant and refined finish. There is a nascent sense of panache here that you might not expect for a mere Village Cru. The key will be to capture that in bottle.

Neal Martin

90 Points

This has plenty of lime and apples. Very crisp and classic with great acidity and a super elegant, crisp palate. Chalky and direct. No wood. Drink now.

Nick Stock

The Premier Cru's

Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons

91-93 Points

The 2017 Chablis Vaillons 1er Cru has a really refined bouquet with yellow flowers nutmeg and light apple blossom aromas that unfurl in the glass. The palate is very well balanced with a fine bead of acidity, taut and linear for a Vaillons but as always, just so pretty with a touch of white peach on the finish. Less "mean" and more seductive in style, this serves as an excellent introduction to Droin.

Neal Martin

91-92 Points

Some oak and some tank. This is a very floral cuvée with dried white flowers and some richer nectarines and peaches, as well as subtle hazelnut oak. The palate has a very taut core with fleshy fruit draped at the edges. This is open, smooth and layered. An elegant finish. Approachable on release.

Nick Stock

Chablis 1er Cru Vaucopin

88-90 Points

Usually, Benoît Droin raises this Cru partly in wood, but due to low yields the 2017 Chablis Vaucoupin 1er Cru is raised entirely in stainless steel. It has a taut, almost earthy, slightly algaeus bouquet that opens beautifully with aeration. The palate is well defined with crisp acidity, taut and introspective but missing the same joie-de-vivre as its peers on the finish. Very classic in style, perhaps not quite as charming as the other 2017 1er Crus although, I did notice some reduction.

Neal Martin

92-93 Points

Vinified without wood. Classic with plenty of acidity and super pure grapefruit citrus. Wet stony, flinty and gently reductive aromas. The palate has a very fine edge. Very mineral, salty and tight with an elegant, long palate. Drink from 2020.

Nick Stock

Chablis 1er Cru Montmains

92-94 Points

The 2017 Chablis Montmains 1er Cru has a slightly richer bouquet than the Vaillons: white peach, a touch of custard and dandelion, mineral notes interwoven. The palate is very well balanced with a fine bead of acidity, quite stupendous tension and harmony with a shimmering, citrus finish that is pure joy. Is this the best Montmains of the vintage?

Neal Martin

91-92 Points

Deeper soil here. There are seductive lime leaves and a lime-zest edge to the nose with a core of white nectarines. Gently savory nutty elements too. The palate has a very fleshy palate. Rounder and loaded with white stone fruits, all delivered with an elegant, approachable style. Drink on release.

Nick Stock

Chablis 1er Cru Vaulorent

90-92 Points

The 2017 Chablis Vauleront 1er Cru feels more muted than the Chablis Village, rather sultry at the moment and perhaps not coming out to play on the day of my visit. The palate is well balanced with a fine bead of acidity, elegant and quite understated with some lovely peach skin and ginger notes dancing around on the finish. Very fine.

Neal Martin

92-93 Points

A select parcel of more mineral Fourchaume. This was fermented in tank only due to small yields. Very very mineral oyster shell with flinty grapefruit and lime. The palate has impressive purity and elegance. Super fine and elegant. A long and pure citrus palate. Knife-like purity here. Thrilling. Try from 2020.

Nick Stock

Chablis 1er Cru Mont de Milieu

91-93 Points

The 2017 Chablis Mont de Milieu 1er Cru, matured in 25% used barrels, has a classic, flint and smoke scented bouquet that demands more encouragement in the glass, eventually offering hints of white peach. The palate is well balanced with a fine bead of acidity, taut and linear, quite malic towards the finish but demonstrating fine persistence and tension. Excellent.

Neal Martin

92-93 Points

The most fruit expressive of Droin’s wines. This is influenced early on by the warmer exposition and mineralogy that comes with age. The intensity here is staggering. Very complete and rich with yellow and white peaches, as well as a strong core of intense mineral below. A mouthwatering finish. Drink or hold.

Nick Stock

Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre

92-94 Points

The 2017 Chablis Montée de Tonnerre is matured 25% in used wood. It has a lovely flint and smoked walnut aroma that is all beautifully defined. The marn [or marl?] blue soils are articulated in this Premier Cru with impressive clarity. The palate is well defined with a saline entry, fresh citrus fruit with a squeeze of lime and a brisk, vivacious and lightly spiced note to complete a really lovely Montée de Tonnerre.

Neal Martin

93-94 Points

A lot of mineral here. This has a lot of blue clay, which is found in Les Clos. This is a beautiful struck in terms of reduction and tension. Flinty grapefruit, white peaches and a very precise, intense mineral palate. Long, smooth stony flavors. Hazelnuts and restrained peaches to close. Super. Give this time. Try from 2022.

Nick Stock

The Grand Cru's

Chablis Grand Cru Valmur

92-95 Points

The 2017 Chablis Valmur Grand Cru was more reduced and backward than its peers when I tasted it at the winery. The richness and sensuality of the wine is represented in the mouth, rounded in texture with hints of acacia honey and stem ginger, perhaps just needing a little more precision on the finish. Good potential but this might need longer in bottle than its siblings.

Neal Martin

94-95 Points

A more rich and opulent cru, which is bathed in a lot of concentrated ripe peach aromas and flavors. Mangoes, too. Very attractive, fruit-driven with sorbet-like, melding bob acidity and sweet fruit richness. A very expressive, uplifting and energetic cuvée. Drink or hold.

Nick Stock

Chablis Grand Cru Vaudésir

94-96 Points

The 2017 Chablis Vaudésir Grand Cru sees around 35% wood maturation (used) and the remainder in stainless steel. It has an intense bouquet with yellow plum, Mirabelle, jasmine and light flint/smoke aromas that are detailed and very well focused. The palate is very harmonious with a smooth texture, perfectly pitched acidity with hints of orange zest, Clementine, Cornice pear and cold flint towards the poised and graceful finish. This is brimming with potential – a stunning Vaudésir.

Neal Martin

93-94 Points

The elegance is seductive with very restrained stone fruits, some grapefruit. Perfumed, floral and subtly nutty. It smells delicate. The palate has a very succulent array of stone fruits in the peach and sprint spectrum. An alluringly soft and fleshy finish. Drink or hold.

Nick Stock

Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos

94-96 Points

The 2017 Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru has a strict and quite reserved bouquet (especially following the Grenouilles) with more mineral/flint aromas percolating through the citrus fruit. The palate is very well defined with a little butteriness on the entry in terms of texture, smooth and seductive but this is deceiving because it segues into a very taut, linear and precise finish that feels long and satisfying. A brilliant Les Clos from Benoît Droin.

Neal Martin

95-96 Points

Three parcels running diagonally up from west to east. The complexity is staggering, fruits from citrusy grapefruit and lemon to white and yellow stone fruits. Some honey and nougat, as well as a huge amount of underlying mineral. A majestic palate that is grand and complete. The mineralogy is subdued by expressive fruit for now. It will reveal in time. Freshness with concentration in 2017. Drink this after 2025 for the most complete impression.

Nick Stock

Chablis Grand Cru Grenouilles

93-95 Points

The 2017 Chablis Grenouilles Grand Cru sees around 50% in wood, the most in 2017. It has an exquisite bouquet, very open and spicy hints of ginger and orange rind, gaining intensity all the time in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with a fine line of acidity, very harmonious and focused, almost understated towards the finish with yellow plum, nectarine and light orange zest notes. Just a beautiful Chablis Grand Cru.

Neal Martin

93-94 Points

The oldest vines of the domaine, which were planted in 1947. This has intense minerals with very opulent expressive fruit. Expansive in the mouth with a wealth of attractive stony mineral. Long peach and hazelnut flavors at the finish. This has length and suave polish. Drink or hold.

Nick Stock