The domaine encompasses slightly less than 10 hectares of vineyards. The Grand Cru vineyards are south-facing; the 1er Cru vineyards have a full southeast exposure; and the village property faces northwest. All are hillside sites with an “argilo-calcaire” soil composition heavily marked by small stones that provide for excellent drainage. Of course, the entire vineyard surface is underlain by the Kimmeridgian limestone that makes Chablis one of the most unique wine-producing areas in the world.
Harvest levels vary extensively according to age of vines and vintage conditions. Levels for the village wine may reach 60 hectoliters per hectare in particularly generous years whereas the 1er Cru vineyards usually yield approximately 45 to 50 hectoliters per hectare. However, the old vines section of Vaillons (composed in large part of vineyards in excess of 65 years of age) frequently yields less than 25 hectoliters per hectare. The other vineyards are planted to vines between 20 and 40 years of age.
The cellars of the Dauvissat domaine are equipped with the most modern materials. Fermentation and elevage of the village and premier cru wines occurs for the most part in stainless steel. The old vines cuvee of Vaillons and the Les Preuses are partially barrel fermented and barrel aged with about 25% of the oak being new. The wines are traditionally bottled 18 to 20 months after harvest. On occasion, certain of the other 1er Crus may pass part of the elevage in barrel as well, particularly when harvest levels are low.
|Chablis Saint Pierre: Sebastien Dauvissat works a two hectare parcel of vines at the village level. The vineyards are situated on the “back side” of the 1er Crus. The soil here is infused with a particularly high percentage of limestone which permits this cuvée to make a clear statement of its origins.|
|Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons: The Dauvissat holdings are slightly in excess of 4 hectares with seven-tenths of a hectare being devoted to the old vines planting. The “Vaillons” vineyard lies in the center of the large 1er Cru hillside on the southwestern side of Chablis. The vines are on a steep slope and have a south-southeast exposition. Amongst the 1er Crus at the Dauvissat domaine, the “Vaillons” is perhaps the most typical “Chablisien” with its clear reference to the Kimmeridgian subsoils … an intensely mineral wine with a persistent|
|Chablis 1er Cru Montmains: The “Montmains” site is an extension of the 1er Cru “Les Forets” towards the northeast of the 1er Cru slope. In this instance, the soil has a higher percentage of clay in the mix which produces a more full-bodied wine, strict and structured, marked by earthier notes to the nose and on the palate. The Dauvissats own about one and one-quarter hectares of vineyards within “Montmains”.|
|Chablis 1er Cru Les Sechets: The Dauvissat holdings in “Sechets” are approximately one and one-quarter hectares in expanse. This 1er Cru sits in the center of the 1er Cru slope on well-drained, limestone soils that consistently produce the most elegant of the 1er Crus at this estate. The superb site enables more reliable ripening of the grapes. The “Sechets” produced by Sebastien Dauvissat is the most floral and fine of his series of 1er Crus.|
|Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons – Vieilles Vignes: This special cuvée is sourced from a parcel of about .70 hectare that is planted to vines of at least fifty years of age (and some in excess of sixty-five years). In our opinion, the quality and expansiveness of this wine frequently elevates it to Grand Cru level; there is remarkable concentration and length and an impeccable expression of the grand terroir of Chablis.|
|Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses: The Dauvissat holdings in “Les Preuses” equal three-quarters of a hectare. The vineyard sits near the high point of the hillside on the right bank of the Serein river that courses by the village of Chablis and in close proximity to the neighboring Grand Cru of “Bougros”. The “Les Preuses” produced by Sebastien Dauvissat is always generous with an ebullient bouquet that, in very ripe vintages, has a tendency to “muscat”, that is to say it adds a layer of exotic, ripe fruit to its bouquet.|
Though technically part of Burgundy, Chablis is adamantly its own place, not only for its colder, grimmer climate, or its entirely different geological origins, but for its distinct traditions of élevage. Chablis oaked like a Chassagne-Montrachet loses the ability to articulate its Kimmeridgian intricacies, while a stint in thermoregulated stainless steel often sacrifices texture, resulting in Chablis that feels more like Sancerre—just with slightly different aromatic and flavor signifiers.
From Chablis Gets the Côte de Beaune Treatment from Mother Nature (Jul 2016) by Stephen Tanzer Caves Jean et Sébastien Dauvissat Despite the hailstorm and significant rainfall in the early morning hours of September 1, the grapes were very healthy and ripe in 2015–12% potential alcohol for the village wines and 12.2% to 12.5% for […]
Drinking this wine drawn from the cellar tonight. Rather astonishing for its freshness (15 years old, village wine!). Classic Chablis – aromatically and gustatorily true to its Kimmeridgian origins. My only quibble is that it shows just a touch too “warm” on the palate despite its declared 12% alcohol. Lovely density … As we used […]
Last week Neal traveled from Champagne to Chablis before making his way to the Loire. Here are his notes from domaines Dauvissat and Defaix. “I visited with Sebastien Dauvissat early in the morning of Tuesday November 19 – a hint of snow was in the air. Our stocks of the Dauvissat wines are dwindling rapidly […]