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2009 Bernard Defaix Vaillons ChablisChardonnay from France


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  • 90 Allen Meadows - Burghound
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"(almost all Vaillons proper with a bit of Séchet). Here too there is a deft touch of wood surrounding the white orchard fruit, citrus, iodine and honeysuckle aromas that have glimpses of oyster shell poking through. The rich, forward and relatively generous flavors possess a seductive mouth feel and excellent complexity on the dry-for-the-vintage finish. This should age well for the medium term." -90 Points - Allen Meadows - Burghound

"Didier Defaix told me that the domaine is now certified "bio". He describes 2009 as a "vintage where there will be some very good surprises. A lot of people say that it's not as good as 2007 or 2008 but it was possible to make some very, very good wines in 2009 as well. We waited to begin picking and didn't start until the 17th of September and even then, we stopped for a day here and there to be sure that each parcel was picked at optimum ripeness because of the heterogeneous flowering."

"The sugar levels were about the same as in 2008, which is to say between 12 and 13% though we obtained a bit less yield in 2009. The wines are very rich and while there is sufficient acidity, there certainly aren't the elevated levels we obtained in 2007 and 2008. We did absolutely no lees stirring in 2009 whereas in 2008, we stirred them regularly. I like the '09s and believe that so will our clients once they have a chance to taste them."

"I agree with Defaix' take on the 2009 vintage, at least for his wines as they are among the very best in the region. His '08s are also terrific and while I've noted this before, it bears repeating: The quality of the Defaix wines now puts the domaine among the top 10 in Chablis." -Allen Meadows

"Premier Cru Les Vaillons joins together several named plots of the Chablis region; some of our vineyards are located in the named plot Les Vaillons, and others in Les Lys. In this 1er cru, young and old vines are blended. The young vines were planted with a selection of the best clones of Chardonnay, resulting in wine that embodies freshness and floral hints. The wine produced from the old vines is characterised by its structure and finesse. The final blend is a finely balanced, elegant, and harmonious wine. -Winery

"The family practices a mix of organic, biodynamic and classic farming, adopting from from each philosophy what they think will work best for their vineyards. With always the same goal: to harvest grapes with a very good level of maturity and with all the personality of the soil in them. The wine from these young vines brings freshness and floral hints. The wine produced from the old vines is characterized by its structure and finesse." -Importer

"Bernard Defaix, fourth generation of a family of vine-growers, started in 1959 with 2 hectares. At about this time, the first techniques for protecting vineyards from spring frosts were discovered. Over the years, Bernard and his wife Monique have acquired new land. Their efforts duly enriched the domain, which now included some of the best named places of the Chablis region."

"Today, true to the family tradition, the domain is run by Sylvain and Didier. Bernard nevertheless continues to provide his expert advice to his two sons. Didier looks after the vineyards, sales and marketing, and the accounting. Sylvain is in charge of all the wine making, ageing, bottling and orders Helene, Didier’s wife, works with us since 2002 for the sales and the administrative part. Therefore, thanks to our family organization, we carefully see every step from the vineyard to the customer. " -Winery

"On 2009, the budburst was quite early. Then after a short cool period, we have had a long sunny time around the end of May. So the vine has grown quickly. The first flowers were seen at the beginning of June which is early with an advance of 10 days compared to the average. Then the flowering took place rather slowly."

"In June and July, we have had important rainfalls which has complicated the work in the vineyard for both the maintenance of the soils and the protection against cryptogamic diseases. In August, the weather has improved and remained good in September. We have begun harvesting on saturday 12th of September in Rully and then on wednesday 16th of September in Chablis.The harvest took place with a nice weather: a real harvest weather, misty in the early morning and sunny during the day."

"From the harvest, the potential of the vintage was perceptible. This opinion has been confirmed and accentuated during the ageing. The 2009 are characterized by their beautiful structure, their balance and their saltiness -very typical of Chablis- on the finish. They are really on the same line than 2007 and 2008 for their typicity and their elegance." -Winemaker

Product Detail

Item # 59588
Country France
Region Burgundy
Sub-Region Chablis

90 - Allen Meadows - Burghound

Vintage 2009
Color White
ABV 13.0%
Varietal(s) Chardonnay
Size 750 mL
Closure Cork
Taste apple, pear, peach, apricot, lemon, lime, orange, pineapple, kiwi, butter, cream and vanilla
Nose apple, pear, peach, apricot, lemon, lime, orange, pineapple, kiwi, butter, cream and vanilla