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

SKU #1114683 93-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Whereas the Vaudesir shows a bit of tannin from the oak, the 2011 Chablis Valmur is rich, opulent and totally seamless from start to finish. It boasts stunning depth and integrity to match a full-bodied, voluptuous personality for Chablis. A soft, textured finish rounds things out beautifully. Anticipated maturity: 2015+. 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.  (8/ 2012)

90-93 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 (from 50+ year old vines aged in 50% wood but only a 'small' percentage was new). There is also some wood influence present here but in this case it’s a good deal more discreet and as such it allows the refined aromas of sea breeze, petrol, white flower and pear to shine. There is lovely intensity to the muscular flavors that possess excellent concentration before terminating in a dry and well-detailed finish that offers similar length to the Vaudésir if not quite the same depth.  (9/ 2012)

89-92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (from 14-year-old vines): Pale yellow. Aromas of underripe pineapple, mint, spices, tarragon and honey. Dense and silky, with harmonious acidity and strong minerality framing the lime and lichee flavors. Not hugely intense but broad, round and classically dry. Longer than the Vaudesir, and more tannic too. MInerally and persistent on the finish. This cuvee was made entirely from old vines through the 2007 vintage, but Droin started using his new plantings in 2008.  (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.

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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.