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Daniel Etienne Defaix, Chablis
Defaix wines have a depth and richness achieved through extended lees ageing which can make them taste as if they are oaked. Long, intense and complex. The Defaix domaine is one of the oldest in Chablis and dates from the 13th century. Since the 18th century it has been solely concerned with producing Chablis from 25 hectares of prime vineyard sites. Daniel Defaix continues to produce excellent wines, released when mature after extended aging on lees.
Chablis Vieilles Vignes Defaix is one of the oldest domaines in Chablis and certainly one of the finest. Based in the tiny hamlet of Milly just outside the village of Chablis, the family has been tending vineyards for over 250 years.
The domaine consists of 25 hectares of vineyards, including holdings in 3 Premiers Crus vineyards and a minute parcel in the Grand Cru "Les Blanchots". Daniel Defaix is firmly in the "unoaked" camp of Chablis producers.
He ferments his grapes in temperature-controlled stainless steel cuves and the wines then remain on their lees in tanks for at least 18 months before being bottled and released. The wines are buttery and concentrated, but are never cloyingly rich.
Above all, they are characterised by a marvellous purity of fruit that is the very essence of first-class Chablis. They also possess terrific medium to long-term cellaring potential.