2011 Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin Chablis Grand Cru "Grenouille" (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1114678 91-94 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 (from 55+ year old vines aged in 60% wood). This is completely different from the prior two wines with an admirably pure nose of mineral reduction, tidal pool and floral notes that offer plenty of Chablis character. There is good ripeness to the rich, round and generous flavors that display excellent intensity and punch on the saline-infused and wonderfully persistent finish. This should be lovely and I particularly like the delivery.  (9/ 2012)

92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Chablis Grenouilles emerges from the glass with white flowers, stone fruits and beautifully integrated oak. As is often the case, the Grenouilles does not have the pedigree, polish or finesse of the best wines in the lineup, but it is one of the best wines from this overrated vineyard. In other words, this is about as good as it gets for Grenouilles. Anticipated maturity: 2013+.  (8/ 2012)

89-92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (this began in 50% new oak, including a bit of new wood): Bright yellow-green. Aromas of orange, spices and white truffle, with a high note that reminded me of eau de vie. Large-scaled, ripe and powerful, with a saline quality and a slightly exotic character to the flavors of orange, lichee and spices. Strong fruit here, with equally strong acidity. Finishes quite long but a bit youthfully disjointed and phenolic. This is 13.7% alcohol.  (7/ 2012)

K&L Notes

Since the year 1620, fourteen generations of the Droin family have passed their winemaking tradition on to the next. Since 1999, all vinification has taken place at a modern wine facility built below the Grand Cru vineyards in Chablis, where they hold more than 4 hectares of vines. Grape clusers are handled very gently before pressing and the wine is matured in vats and neutral oak before bottling almost exactly one year after harvest. Once again, my tasting with Benoit Droin was one of the highlights of my trip to Chablis. Vintage 2011 was characterized by an early, easy and even flowering, which resulted in a generous crop...Droin doesn't seem to get a lot of attention in the press, but in my opinion, this is one of the very finest producers in Chablis. I have also had great luck with older bottles, as these are typically wines that age beautifully. (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer)

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Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Chablis

- The region north of the Cote d'Or, famous for its steely dry white wines made from Chardonnay. There are 7 Grands Crus vineyards, and numerous Premier Crus. Unfortunately, the name has been borrowed and badly abused by producers of inferior white wines in the US as well as in Australia. True French Chablis is a delicate, stony, crisp Chardonnay, bearing no resemblance to the anonymous plonk so labeled here.