Jean Dauvissat – 2017


Tasted in Milly with Fabien Dauvissat, 11 January 2019.

Domaine Jean Dauvissat Père & Fils
11 et 13 rue de Léchet
89800 Milly
Tel: +33 3 86 42 12 23

Fabien on 2018:
2018 a little worry at the start of the season about maladies because the vintage started very wet. Fortunately it stayed calm and I could stay with just copper and sulfur and could work as I wished. For my work, it was a relatively easy vintage – we had worry from frost, we had worry about flowering as it was hot, we had worry because it was so dry – BUT – it was a generous harvest and in September too – older vignerons tell me I might see that only once in my career. It could be like 2015 with a slightly inferior concentration but we will see.

Fabien on 2017:
2016 was half a harvest, 2017 was only a third of a harvest; La Chapelle de Vaupelteigne,Milly and Maligny were hard hit – all our vines are in the west part of Chablis, so 20 hl/ha. My objective is 50 hl/ha – here the blend of quality and the economics are what I need.

Discussing more generally about the domaine:
My father sold to the coop, with a production volume of ‘security’ but my changes have been step by step. First was the start of working the soil – no herbicides – by 2014 all was converted. I’ve really no interest in having any certification or labels – today – but every year I try to do the best and actually do work in an organic way. I’m also doing more and more biodynamically. Every year we start at zero, but my year and work is more than 90% focused on the vines. Since I’ve 2015 stopped using bought yeasts. Now also no enzymes to clarify – I think I have more weight to the wines now – but all are small steps.

The wines…

Simply a First-Class address in 2017.

The Petit Chablis and Chablis are bottled, and the tanks are planned for bottling at the end of February – will fine the tanks in another couple of weeks, depending on tastings and the phase of the moon.

Normally there are 9 cuvées but there are fewer in 2017 due to the low yields. The cuvée heritage was too small so the old vines are in the regular bottling. The second cuvée (cuvée Claire) that uses larger barrels didn’t please Fabien so that also went into the regular – but that means that the regular does have a little wood – normally there’s none. Have also changed cooper in 2018 – Fabien is having a year trying Stockinger, after tasting some examples with friends.

2017 Petit Chablis
A small parcel of 0.16 ha, making a little over 1,000 bottles from the plateau of Chapelle la Vaupelteigne – the domaine’s smallest cuvée.
It’s cold, it starts tight but there’s a pretty and inviting fine citrus in the middle of the aroma. Hmm – nice weight, saline minerality slowly with some citrus drive. This starts excellently with a fine salinity in the finish, but then gets better and better.
2017 Chablis
Nice and fresh on the nose – cold wine again – very faintly floral too. More energy, more complexity – and the flavour is going in lots of directions with plenty of depth to the concentration – a step up for sure – great villages, Bravo!

The following all tasted from tank:

2017 Chablis 1er Côte de Léchets
2 ha, 1.5 really in the centre. Some court-noué so normally low yielding – ‘I’m always thinking about replanting!’
Deeper nose with more intense citrus – ripe, though neither green nor yellow. Some gas. Fills the mouth and stays relatively stable there before slowly melting. Fine, delicate, but with sinew to muscle, a ballet-dancer – there’s strength there – really a super finish, greener lime fruit here, long and excellent.

2017 Chablis 1er Montmains
One 0.75 hecatre parcel in real Montmains. ‘Usually our last parcel to be harvested.’
A nose that’s less formed – seems a little gas-perturbed, but slowly a little lime is showing, and the last drops in the glass are super. Also on the palate is a lime fruit, less austere and direct as in 2008 but with that type of vibe. Super finish of purity and refreshment.

2017 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
Ooh – that’s a great, vibrant, mineral nose – perfection! Wait for the gas. Width, depth purity and lovely energy. Beautiful texture as the flavour melts over the palate. Perfect 1er cru – bravo!
2016 Chablis 1er Vaillons
One 0.83 hectare parcel in Chatains.
Starts with a faint reduction but swirling liberates a very fine floral perfume. Also super – but different! Still very citrus but almost more yellow fruit – layered great energy again, more accommodating – easier in the mouth, floral perfume in the mouth too – another great 1er cru – a great companon, and long too!

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