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, in addition to a suite of Premier Cru’s and Grand Cru’s – Valmur, Vaudésir, Les Clos, and, Grenouille.
Wines will ship in January weather permitting or be held in climate-controlled storage until conditions are suitable.
We have a few bottles of 2017 available if you’d like something with an extra year of age on it!
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 Droin family has been collecting small holdings in all the top premier and grand cru Chablis vineyards since 1620. Over the last 400 years they have played an important role in shaping Chablis’ wine production and local politics throughout their existence. Jean-Paul was one of the first to introduce oak aging to the region in the 1980s, a transformative innovation. In 1999 Benoît, Jean-Paul’s son, took over as winemaker and the domaine has since flourished. His meticulous vineyard management with severely restricted yields and careful élevage of the individual cuvees afford the attention to detail required for greatness. Benoît’s artistry in the winery and careful stewardship of their outstanding collection of small vineyards has long ago elevated the family domaine to the very top of the Chablis tree. The Droin style is one of purity and transparency, coupled with powerful concentration and deep minerality.
The 2018 Vintage at Droin
*Words from Nick Stock
…for the most part the sun registers strongly in the young 2018 wines. Many wines lower down the ladder of classification are buoyed by rich, fleshy fruit and deliver more up-front enjoyment than they would in a more classic year. Inexpensive peachy 2018 Chablis fruit bombs will be enjoyed far and wide.
The upper tiers, in particular the Premier and Grand Cru wines, are worth drinking early on, though in a few cases (often producer-driven) the wines are worth leaving alone for a decade. Time will dim the sunny sheen on these chosen few and allow site-driven character to shine through instead.
“There’s not that razor sharp Chablis acidity in 2018,” says Patrick Piuze. “But there is good definition of place. The dry conditions drove vines to drink deeper down in the soil profile.”
Piuze makes a wide array of wines that, true to his word, are driven by their location. “Overall it’s a good consumer-friendly vintage, somewhere between 2009 and 2015,” he adds. “Some old people in the region compare it to 1982. I think we will have a good surprise with the best wines in time.”
The wines worth holding onto are certainly drawn from the best sites, but producers that work with lower yields as a norm are also worth a look. Piuze notes that the vintage was analytically similar to the recent 2015 harvest, specifically in terms of pH and alcohol levels, but that there is a lot more dry extract in 2018. “I’ve never seen so many healthy grapes, and even with the large number of grapes we had, there is no weakness in the mid-palate because of the high dry extract.”
In the cellars of both Vincent Dauvissat and Raveneau, this combination of lower yields, trademark concentration and plenty of extract means the wines have great presence and texture, even if the finish lacks the acidity. They farm great parcels well and they’re at the top of the rankings in plenty of cases here. “It is a very generous and easygoing vintage,” says Isabelle Raveneau. “Not the most classic for Chablis, but it is drinking well and earlier. There’s plenty of it too, it’s the most wine we have made since 2011.”
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.