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Chablis Savants Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin Deliver a Stunning Line-Up - 01/02/2018 - White Burgundy

Father and son Chablis producers, Jean-Paul and Benoit Droin, have enjoyed a string of highly successful vintages over the past several years, culminating in a more than impressive set of 2016s. Earning high points and very attractively priced, they are must-have bottlings for anyone who enjoys the best Chablis has to offer. While known for producing richer, more full-bodied, and oak driven Chablis, the 2016s, thanks to Benoit’s influence, show less oak and more restraint than in previous vintages. The results are nothing short of spectacular. Minerality, focused fruit, and clear delineation are all hallmarks of this vintage. In short, these are precisely what Chablis should be. When it comes to Burgundy as a whole, Chablis remains among the most affordable of zones and this certainly holds true for the wines of Droin. With Grand Cru and Premier Cru bottlings from the Cotes d’Or routinely climbing above $100, it is refreshing to find these treasures priced under $80 and less. Available on pre-arrival, now is the time to secure this super-sharp pricing. We’ve always expect great things from Droin, but they really have outdone themselves in 2016.

Vintage Item Name Score Qty Retail Link
2016 Domaine Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin Chablis (Pre-Arrival) 91 >100 $26.99 View
2016 Domaine Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin 1er Cru Chablis "Vaucoupin" (Pre-Arrival) 36 $34.99 View
2016 Domaine Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin 1er Cru Chablis "Vosgros" (Pre-Arrival) 91 58 $39.99 View
2016 Domaine Jean-Paul & Benoit droin 1er Cru Chablis "Vaillons" (Pre-Arrival) 92 56 $39.99 View
2016 Domaine Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin 1er Cru Chablis "Vaulorent" (Pre-Arrival) 93 56 $39.99 View
2016 Domaine Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin 1er Cru Chablis "Montmains" (Pre-Arrival) 93 37 $44.99 View
2016 Domaine Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin 1er Cru Chablis "Montee de Tonnerre" (Pre-Arrival) 94 26 $49.99 View
2016 Domaine Jean Paul & Benoit Droin Grand Cru Chablis "Blanchots" (Pre-Arrival) 95 6 $59.99 View
2016 Domaine Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin Grand Cru Chablis "Valmur" (Pre-Arrival) 94 24 $69.99 View
2016 Domaine Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin Grand Chablis "Vaudesir" (Pre-Arrival) 95 22 $69.99 View
2016 Domaine Jean Paul & Benoit Droin Grand Cru Chablis "Grenouilles" (Pre-Arrival) 94 30 $79.99 View
2016 Domaine Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin Grand Cru Chablis "Les Clos" (Pre-Arrival) 95 30 $79.99 View


2016 Domaine Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin Chablis (Pre-Arrival) ($26.99)

89-91 points Vinous: "(mostly "Chablis de Chablis," according to Droin, who explained that this wine does not include fruit from Préhy due to the hail and frost and is mostly from vines located between Vaillons and Montmains): Bright yellow. Ripe aromas of lemon zest, minerals and hazelnut, plus a hint of oatmeal reduction. Densely packed, rich and surprisingly fresh, with intense citrus zest and mineral flavors giving the wine a very firm finish.(ST)" (08/2017)

88-90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Chablis Villages was showing a little reduction, although Benoît Droin is completely correct in stating that it will disappear once in bottle and given sufficient aeration. The palate is where it is all happeningvery malic with plenty of green apples and saline in the mouth, with bitter lemon and fresh pear toward the pointed finish. This has good potential.(NM)" (08/2017)

Allen Meadows - Burghound: " This is still carrying post-malo aromas rendering the nose tough to evaluate. Otherwise there is both more volume and richness to the medium-bodied flavors that possess a succulent very round mouth feel while offering good if not truly special depth and persistence. This too should drink well early on." (10/2017)

2016 Domaine Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin 1er Cru Chablis "Vaucoupin" (Pre-Arrival) ($34.99)

2016 Domaine Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin 1er Cru Chablis "Vosgros" (Pre-Arrival) ($39.99)

88-91 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: " Firm reduction and sulfur aromas render this difficult to evaluate as well. The punchy, tighter and more powerful flavors possess solid mid-palate concentration thanks to the abundance of sappy dry extract, all wrapped in rich and saline-inflected finale. This mildly rustic effort should repay a few years of cellaring." (10/2017)

89-91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Chablis Vosgros, which is aged solely in stainless steel, has a fresh, linear, Granny Smith apple and wet limestone-scented bouquet. The palate is crisp on the entry with just a hint of blackcurrant leaf, building in the mouth toward a pleasantly saline finish. Linear and taut, this Zen-like Vosgros should drink well for several years.(NM)" (08/2017)

89-91 points Vinous: "(just racked and sulfited after a late malolactic fermentation): Pale yellow-green color. High-pitched aromas of lemon, lime and powdered stone. Juicy, firmly built and nicely delineated, with an impression of lemony acidity giving the wine penetration and cut. Not better today than the village wine but then this wine seems a bit hardened by the recent sulfur addition and finishes with some dryness.(ST)" (08/2017)

2016 Domaine Jean-Paul & Benoit droin 1er Cru Chablis "Vaillons" (Pre-Arrival) ($39.99)

90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Chablis 1Er Cru Vaillons is matured in 20% oak with the remainder in stainless steel. It has a typical floral bouquet with scents of lemon curd and a subtle hazelnut aroma that becomes accentuated with aeration. The palate is lively and fresh, elegant and harmonious with a fine thread of acidity. It is very expressive at the moment and as Benoît commented, it will sprint out of the blocks almost as soon as it is bottled. Put your name down for a bottle.(NM)" (08/2017)

90-92 points Vinous: "(this wine began in 25% oak): Bright lemon-green color. Vibrant aromas of lime, lemon zest and mint. Dense, thick and savory, showing lovely cool Chablis minerality and nicely integrated acidity. Finishes chewy and long but not at all dry or phenolic. The yield here was a healthy 50 hectoliters per hectare as the vines, according to Droin, were virtually untouched by hail and frost. An excellent showing today.(ST)" (08/2017)

89-91 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "A ripe and attractively fresh nose consists mostly of various white orchard fruit aromas that are cut with notes of citrus rind, tidal pool and soft floral whiffs. The mouth feel of the middle weight flavors is also quite succulent though there is more evident minerality suffusing the slightly drier and more persistent finale. This refined effort will need at least a few years of aging first." (10/2017)

2016 Domaine Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin 1er Cru Chablis "Vaulorent" (Pre-Arrival) ($39.99)

91-93 points Vinous: "(began in 20% oak; these vines were not frosted): Hazy light yellow-green. Fruit-driven aromas of lemon, lime, mandarin orange and spices, plus an exotic whiff of mango. Dense, dry and classic, in fact a bit youthfully taut, offering lovely tension and purity to its citrus and spice flavors. Spreads out and vibrates on the long aftertaste. The crop level here was a healthy 50 hectoliters per hectare, according to Droin.(ST)" (08/2017)

89-92 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "Reduction presently flattens the underlying fruit. More positively there is excellent richness to the borderline lush medium-bodied flavors that possess good if not excellent vibrancy before terminating in a smoky, sappy, complex and solidly persistent finish. I suspect that this will drink well young but also repay 4 to 7 years of cellaring." (10/2017)

90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Chablis 1er Cru Vaulorent was matured 20% to 25% in barrel. Of all Benoits crus, it shows the most reduction on the nose, which is nothing to be concerned about at this stage. The palate is very effervescent with notes of orange sorbet, tangerine and a touch of dried quince. There is a slightly waxy texture to this Vaulorent. It has a linear, aloof finish that suggests it will need three or four years in bottle.(NM)" (08/2017)

2016 Domaine Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin 1er Cru Chablis "Montmains" (Pre-Arrival) ($44.99)

91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Chablis 1Er Cru Montmains saw 35% to 40% aging in oak, with the remainder in stainless steel. It has an almost Chassagne-like bouquet and already demonstrates impressive intensity with scents of almond and hazelnut that Benoît Droin attributes to the clay soils. The palate is well balanced, with a slightly viscous opening that recedes midway, leaving the second half with white citrus fruit and a touch of spice and nutmeg. I love the cohesion and the build of this Montmains and its crescendo on the finish. Recommended.(NM)" (08/2017)

90-92 points Vinous: "just 20 hectoliters per hectare produced due mostly to frost): Pale, bright yellow-green. Lovely calcaire lift to the aromas of lemon zest and powdered stone. Initially juicy, penetrating and a bit lean after the thicker Vaillons, but this lovely tangy wine opened with air and gained markedly in suppleness. This premier cru will doubtless need a couple years of bottle aging to blossom.(ST)" (08/2017)

89-91 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "There is a mildly tropical character to the fresh range of pear, apple, viognier and soft ocean breeze scents. The rich, round and supple flavors possess enough vibrancy to remain refreshing and inviting on the sappy, clean, dry and saline-inflected finish." (10/2017)

2016 Domaine Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin 1er Cru Chablis "Montee de Tonnerre" (Pre-Arrival) ($49.99)

92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Chablis 1er Cru Montee de Tonnerre has such a pretty, winsome bouquet with scents of pressed white flowers, white peach, subtle smoke and walnut aromas. The palate is flinty on the entry with wonderful tension. This is not a powerful Chablis but one that emphasizes the terroir and is blessed with a precise, elegant and persistent finish. This is an outstanding effort by Benoît Droin and clearly the pick of his premier crus this year.(NM)" (08/2017)

92-94 points Vinous: "(began in 25% oak): Light yellow-green. Captivating, soil-driven scents of lime skin, crushed rock, fresh herbs and caraway seed. In a distinctly cool style, despite the fact that Droin picked these vines later at 12.8% potential alcohol due to hydric stress here in August, but with noteworthy density to the slightly reduced flavors of anise and rock. Not hugely ripe but strong in extract and very long and saline on the slowly building aftertaste, finishing with a suggestion of silex. I love the cool minerality on display here.(ST)" (08/2017)

90-92 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: " Reduction and SO2 dominate the nose today. Otherwise there is a beguiling and caressing mouth feel to the sleek, intense and nicely refined medium weight flavors that exude a fine minerality on the notably dry finale that exhibits a touch of youthful austerity. Like the Vaulorent, my sense is that this should drink well young but also repay mid-term cellaring." (10/2017)

2016 Domaine Jean Paul & Benoit Droin Grand Cru Chablis "Blanchots" (Pre-Arrival) - 6 available ($59.99)

92-95 points Vinous: "(mostly untouched by hail and frost): Bright yellow-green. Inviting, classic scents of lime zest, sea spray and oyster shell. Dense and tightly wound, conveying a terrific impression of inner-mouth lift to its soil-driven flavors of powdered stone and flowers. This zesty, sharply delineated wine finishes with a slight citric edge and palate-dusting length, not to mention a light touch. Incidentally, this was the only grand cru done entirely in stainless steel and that no doubt accounts for its impression of youthful austerity. Really vibrates on the finish, though. This grand cru typically performs best in warm years, noted Droin.(ST)" (08/2017)

91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Chablis Grand Cru Blanchot is the only grand cru with no oakBenoît explained that he wishes to maintain the purity of the mineralité. That certainly comes across on the nose, which conveys gunflint and granite aromas and is austere but very focused. The palate is crisp and taut with a fine line of acidity, moderate depth and a saline, limestone-tinged finish plus a tang of lemongrass right on the aftertaste. This is a well-crafted Blanchot that I suspect will reside at the top of my banded score once in bottle.(NM)" (08/2017)

2016 Domaine Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin Grand Cru Chablis "Valmur" (Pre-Arrival) ($69.99)

92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Chablis Grand Cru Valmur has a clean and precise bouquet that is less expressive and flamboyant than the Vaudésir but with gorgeous yellow plum and lemon curd scents that reluctantly waft from the glass with rigorous aeration, underneath which are scents of cold slate. The palate is very smooth on the entry with just a touch of orange rind and tangerine. Later it becomes more linear and tensile with a Bâtard-Montrachet-like finish! This should turn into a glorious grand cru Chablis.(NM)" (08/2017)

91-93 points Vinous: "Slightly hazy yellow-green. Tangy nose suggests green tropical fruits. Fat, sweet and rich; a step up in volume from the Vaudésir and Blanchots. Expressive in the middle by virtue of its flesh and weight but then a bit tart-edged on the finish. This dense, spicy wine initially seemed more accessible than the Vaudésir but I would not be surprised if its shuts down after the bottling. These vines average just 15 years of age.(ST)" (08/2017)

90-93 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: " Discreet wood influence sets off a ripe and attractively fresh nose of green fruit, floral, sea breeze and spice white peach aromas. The bigger, richer and more muscular flavors aren't quite as refined though they do offer more power on the sappy and palate coating finale that is also shaped and supported by citrus-inflected acidity." (10/2017)

2016 Domaine Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin Grand Chablis "Vaudesir" (Pre-Arrival) ($69.99)

93-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Chablis Grand Cru Vaudesir, matured in 35% used barrel, has a very composed bouquet with scents of yellow plum, citrus peel, flint and smoke that seem to gain intensity in the glass. This is a very "involving" bouquet that you just want to keep inhaling. The palate is taut on the entry, sporting a fine line of acidity. It is slightly resinous in style with notes of dried honey, white pepper, fennel and a powerful, spicy finish that lingers long in the mouth. There is a lot going on in this multifaceted Vaudésir, a Chablis that is riveting even at this early juncture.(NM)" (08/2017)

91-93 points Vinous: "(began in 40% oak): Light yellow. Riper and spicier on the nose than the Blanchots, offering aromas of pineapple and lemon. Thicker than the Blanchots, showing very good citrussy energy but not quite the definition or finesse of the Blanchots. This is typically a warmer and more powerful wine, says Droin, and that's the case here. Shows a lemon tart quality in the middle palate and finishes with a lightly phenolic character. This will need more élevage as well as bottle aging to show more complexity and distinction.(ST)" (08/2017)

90-93 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "Notes of mineral reduction, white peach, spicy and enough Chablis typicity combine to create a very appealing nose. The sleek, intense and overtly mineral-driven middle weight plus flavors possess plenty of sappy dry extract that buffers the moderately firm core of lemony acidity on the dry finish. This is really quite good and like many of these 2016s should drink well young but age for well or the medium-term too." (10/2017)

2016 Domaine Jean Paul & Benoit Droin Grand Cru Chablis "Grenouilles" (Pre-Arrival) ($79.99)

92-94 points Vinous: "(these vines just turned 70 years old but still produce a healthy crop, according to Droin, who has not yet started to replant them; 13% alcohol): Light yellow, but without the green tinge of some of the other 2016s at this address. Distinctly ripe, buttery aromas of soft citrus and tropical fruits show a slightly exotic character. Thick, creamy-sweet and highly concentrated but given shape by ripe, harmonious acidity. A bit aggressive and edgy on the phenolic finish but also boasts explosive length. At this point in our tasting, Droin noted that he lightly chaptalized both the Valmur and the Clos in 2016, but not this wine from deeper soil.(ST)" (08/2017)

91-93 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "Once again firm reduction and sulfur render the details of the nose a mystery. The rich, concentrated and full-bodied flavors are slightly finer than those of the Valmur if again not quite as powerful though this is still a very serious effort that delivers even better depth and length on the balanced finale where a touch of wood arises." (10/2017)

91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Chablis Grand Cru Grenouilles was certainly the most minimalist of Droins grand crusaustere and reserved at this stage. The palate is clean and precise with notes of orange sorbet and tangerine. It is quite feminine and elegant, approachable in style but maybe without the ambition of the Valmur or Vaudésir. We will see...(NM)" (08/2017)

2016 Domaine Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin Grand Cru Chablis "Les Clos" (Pre-Arrival) ($79.99)

93-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Chablis Grand Cru les Clos saw half the crop aged in barrel and the remainder in stainless steel. It has a refined and pure bouquet with scents of flint, smoke and a touch of dandelion. This is sophisticated and entrancing. The palate is fresh on the entry with notes of tangerine, citrus peel and even hints of red cherry. It builds in the mouth and delivers a very harmonious, lightly spiced and persistent finish that attests to its potential. I admire the authority and ambition of this les Clos that clearly aims to be the pick of Droin's 2016s.(NM)" (08/2017)

93-95 points Vinous: "Pale yellow-green. Urgent aromas of white peach, soft citrus fruits and iodine. Silky on entry, then less fat in the middle than the Grenouille, communicating a wonderfully fine-grained texture without any impression of weight. This wine leads with its intense fruit right now but it's extremely young. The slowly mounting, detailed finish and impression of calcaire energy suggest that it will display more minerality with time in the cellar.(ST)" (08/2017)

90-92 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "Here there is no reductive funk with its pretty, ripe and airy aromas of mineral reduction, white flowers, pear, apple and iodine. There is excellent size, weight and mid-palate density to the very rich and overtly mineral-driven flavors that really fan out on the sappy finish that also delivers fine length if not the same depth as the best here. That said more depth will almost certainly develop with a few years of bottle age." (10/2017)