2016 Domaine Barat Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons -photo grapelive

2016 Domaine Barat, Chablis, Vaillons Premier Cru, White Burgundy, France.
The fortunes of the Chablis region have been hit with hail and frost in recent years, so finding an exceptionally good bottle at a fair price seems difficult these days, but this Domaine Barat Premier Cru Vaillons hits the spot with a core of mineral intensity and crisp detail, while still having a sense of richness and texture, it’s a huge upgrade over their Chablis AC which is flabby in comparison. This Cru is set on south facing slopes with ancient Kimmeridgian limestone soils and Portlandian marls that formed millions of years ago in the Jurassic era, which give this wine it’s driving terroir character and mineral focused personality with a steely/flinty briskness and vibrant green apple, pear and zesty citrus fruits in a finely tuned white wine that opens to an elegant mouth feel, while never losing its energy. The Vaillons comes from 50-60 year old vines and the native yeast fermentation takes place on the lees in temperature controlled vats in this all stainless steel Chablis, all the grapes are hand harvested and gently pressed on this classy white and only a light fining takes place after an extended lees aging in tank, before bottling to keep it clear and vividly fresh. Barat is a steady producer, very traditional and while not thrilling always puts out a solid lineup with this Premier Cru Vaillons my favorite, especially for the price, drink over the next 2 or 3 years, it’s an impressive and transparent Chardonnay for those that like a stony crisp version.
($32 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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