2019 Domaine Jean et Sebastian Dauvissat, Chablis Premier Cru, Montmains, White Burgundy, France.
Few wines meet the needs of Summer better than Chablis and if you are looking for an authentic old school example, then the wines from Caves Jean et Sebastian Dauvissat, a famous in the region, should be ones to look for, especially the Premier Cru bottlings that offer exceptional value and give additional dimension, like this Montmains does. The Dauvissat’s the 1er Cru vineyards have a full southeast exposure which gives them their ripe concentration and the legendary chalky soil gives them the steely and stony character that sets the Chablis wines apart in the wine world and makes them so desirable. There is a cool climate racy quality too that comes from the very northerly location, so the wines, like this one, always are pulsating with natural acidity, with this 2019 Montmains showing lime and preserved lemon, green apple and pear fruits, along with a wet shale or flinty essence, clove spice and a bit of lees and soft butterscotch notes. The Montmain gains a fine and smooth textual feel with air, while retaining its taut energy and blows off its free SO2 and allows a bit more of the aromatics to show through. The “Montmains” Cru is a natural extension of the 1er Cru “Les Forets” located in the northeast of the 1er Cru slope and Dauvissat’s vines have a higher percentage of clay in the mix, which as this 2019 shows, produces a more full-bodied Chardonnay.

The J & S Dauvissat domaine encompasses slightly less than 10 hectares of vineyards, so this is a small property with a historic presence in Chablis, making honest, almost rustic terroir driven wines. Jean Dauvissat, and his son Sebastian, were the most recent in an extended line of the Dauvissat family, according to Neal Rosenthal, their US importer, that has been in possession of this notable domaine since 1899. Sadly Jean passed away after an unfortunate accident, but Evelyne Dauvissat, Jean’s wife and Sebastian kept things running smoothly here and the wines have a faithful following. The cave itself is positioned right under the family home which dates back to the 17th century and is on the lane that goes into the village of Chichée and while the family was long time vignerons and growers their first wines as a producer under the Dauvissat label came more recently in 1963. The Duavissat’s hillside parcels, mostly in Premier and Grand Cru sites in Chablis’ fan shell are all stony hillside vineyards set on the classic Kimmeridgian limestone that makes these Chardonnay wines so unique as a region. The fermentation and elevage at Jean et Sebastian Dauvissat for the village and Premier Cru wines are done mostly or in part in stainless steel, with some new oak only used in the Grand Cru and old vine cuvées. This wine saw no oak at all, traditionally aged 2 years on the fine lees in tank before bottling, making for a pure example of Chablis that is performing nicely already, drink over the next 3 to 5 years.
($45 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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