2018 Bernard Defaix Chablis 1er Cru 'Côte de Léchet - Cuvée Reserve'

defaix
Cuvée Price
2018 Bernard Defaix Chablis 1er Cru 'Côte de Léchet - Cuvée Reserve'
$43.95
3 Pack Pricing ($39.99/btl; use code DEFAIXRSRV) $119.97

For two good reasons, I probably own more Chablis than any other white, and I probably drink it more often than any other wine. One, it’s a relatively good value for Burgundy, and two, I love it. - Eric Asimov, NY Times, 09/04/14

For many years I’ve counted this under-the-radar star to be among the most consistently reliable in the region. The Côte de Léchet ‘Cuvée Reserve’ has always been the domaine’s tête de cuvée, issuing as it does from old vines planted in the tenderloin of this gifted premier cru. It is afforded a full 18 months aging in used barrel, and like other wines raised in this manner - i.e. Raveneau and Dauvissat - we see how this technique tends to slim down and streamline the region’s wines.  Tasting from barrel shows this quality superbly, especially if afforded the opportunity to taste wines at various stages of their evolution.  

I just adore this wine in ’18.  It ably showcases those classic seaweed and smoked salt  suggestions characteristic of the vineyard, along with a gentle but persistent citric undertow and remarkable length. An addendum: these wines age, as a recent tasting of their ’86 Vaillons memorably demonstrated… - Jason

From 65 year old vines planted by Bernard Defaix himself in the largest domaine holding of Côte de Léchet, this wine is a firecracker in 2018. While the house style is elevage in stainless steel this year’s ‘Cuvée Reserve’ is made up of a blend where half the wine is aged in old oak with limited batonnage and half the wine is matured in stainless. It’s brilliantly round and racy, leesy and sappy. This bottle is ample evidence that Chablis remains an incredible value in the context of White Burgundy, providing a singular and hedonistic pleasure. It is particularly gratifying that this wine is so aromatically open already- nevertheless, there’s no doubt that this wine will continue to age well for a decade plus if well-stored. Allez, buvez plus de Chablis!

- Spencer


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