Tasted in Milly with Fabien Dauvissat, 18 April, 2014.
Domaine Jean Dauvissat Père & Fils
11 et 13 rue de Léchet
Tel. +33 (0)3 86 42 12 23+33 (0)3 86 42 12 23
This domaine works 22 hectares of vines spread across 8 communes – 49 different parcels. Fabien in now in charge of the domaine after taking over from his father in 2009 – though dad remains in the background. Fabien trained in Beaune and Dijon before finishing with a masters on Bordeaux. The domaine was begun by Fabien’s grandfather in La Chapelle-Vaupelteigne. For a while there was no commercialisation at the domaine, father preferring to concentrate on the vineyards and sell in bulk. Fabien restarted bottling, but is still only selecting what he considers the best – that’s currently about 25k bottles, of which 50% are exported.
Fabien works on the notion of terroir and respecting it – “I really hope to see a big difference in each wine” he says. Eight workers are need to ‘garden’ the vines, “this is where the quality comes from” he says. Despite working the vines by hand, the harvest is mechanical – “It means that we can be more reactive, though some old parcels still need to be done by hand.”
Although they sell a large portion in bulk, everything is vinified here – they just sell the ‘vin clair’ – this way Fabien can have the overview on how the quality is changing in his vineyards as he works, and of-course be sure he’s keeping the best cuvées. Vinification is in temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks, allowed to reach 20°C. Homme Mort is the only wine in the domaine that sees a little oak elevage – mainly in 500 and 600 litre barrels with a maximum of 2 rackings per year. The total elevage for 1er Crus and Chablis ‘Heritage’ is 18-20 months.
Really some of the best wines I tasted – a domaine to watch and buy if you can.
A small parcel so only 1,500 bottles – only sold at the domaine.
A nice friendly aromatic of width and some flashes of nice fruit. This is round and friendly in the mouth too but with a fine core of intensity. Nice energy – beautiful PC!
2011 Chablis ‘Heritage’
The same long elevage as the premiers. Vines planted in 1940-50 but prefer not to say ‘VV’ “I taste blind, but always the older vines come out top” says Fabien.
Here is a very pretty floral aromatic. Wide, seemingly more mineral, with good density and good length too.
From 3 parcels which amount to 2 hectares – ‘one in the centre and the others closer to the western end.’
Wide nose with a lovely depth of fine herbs and quite some delicacy. A lithe, growing concentration that comes from the centre of the wine. Longer flavour and complex with a super finesse.
2012 Chablis 1er Montmains
One 0.75 hecatre parcel.
Also a nose of delicatesse and detail, faintly floral too. Super, mouth-watering balance. Here is a lovely, lovely width of flavour though seemingly modest length. Beautiful.
2012 Chablis 1er Fourchaume
The nose shows high-tones and good, pretty detail. Fresh and more obviously mineral – eventually mouth-watering too. Very long and with good density in the finishing flavour. Super!
Only 1,200 bottles.
Here is a very different palette of aroma given the extra dimension from the oak – yet, still detailed and quite delicate – like the same panting on a different canvas. Super minerality with just a little padding. Detail and without losing any density. Long, long…